8-9 September 2017, Up To Date Festival Białystok
8-15 October 2017, Unsound Krakow
Białowieza is the largest remaining area of ancient forest in Europe and home to many rare and unique wildlife species. Today it is threatened by increased logging; the policy of the current Polish government. The widespread controversy around this has created intense debate, which gives the context to this work.
Peter Cusack and Martyna Poznańska’s installation “There Will Be No Other Forest” aims to contribute to the debate through a combination of sonic documentation and the more poetic approaches of sensing and experiencing the territory. The central medium will be sound and field recording, but complemented by film, photography and writing. The intention is to focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the small and intimate relationships formed by people with the forest and within the forest ecology itself. The micro sounds of bark beetles inside trees and the subtle visual patterns created by insects and small plants are all explored. Martyna Poznańska’s video “My Body Is the Forest, The Forest Is My Body” suggests associations between human and forest forms as well as the transience of exisitance.
The installation hopes, not only to give exposure to the political/environmental issues, but also to illuminate those connections within Białowieza that shed light on the hidden life of trees and on the human decisions that directly impact the forest.
Martyna Poznańska (P) is a cross-disciplinary artist based in Berlin. Her artistic research focuses on listening and hearing as a transformative act within the urban sonic environment. Through her installations and live performances, she investigates the transience of the affect between different modes of perception, where the listener’s experience becomes the focal point. Her practice involves field recording, writing, video and photography. Martyna showed her works at the Akademie der Künste Berlin (DE), Spor Festival (DK), Deutsche Oper Berlin (DE), The Place, London (UK), Cafe OTO, London (UK). She studied Spanish literature and linguistics at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow (PL), voice at the Laboratory of Olga Szwajgier (PL) and Sound Art at The University of the Arts London. In 2016 she obtained the MA degree from Sound Studies at the Universität der Künste Berlin. martynapoznanska.com
Peter Cusack (UK) is based in London and Berlin. He is a field recordist, musician and sound artist with a long interest in the sonic environment. In 1998 he initiated the “Favourite Sounds Project” to discover how people interact with the sounds of the places where they live. It has been carried in cities worldwide including, London, Beijing, Prague and Berlin. His project “Sounds from Dangerous Places” (described as sonic journalism) investigates the soundscapes of sites of major environmental damage such as the Caspian oil fields and the Chernobyl exclusion zone. He is a research fellow at the University of the Arts, London and in 2011 was a guest of the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm. favouritesounds.org / sounds-from-dangerous-places.org / sonic-places.dock-berlin.de
Co-produced with Unsound Festival Krakow and Up To Date Festival Białystok
Unsound Krakow 8-15 October 2017
The Possibility Of A Forest (John Doran, The Quietus, Oct 2017)
“Diminished as it is, Iwanowska describes the breathtaking biodiversity of the region and goes on to say that it is reflected in the way that humans have traditionally lived there. Villages have existed in the forest for millennia. There are records of hyper-localised religious and folk music traditions going back hundreds of years which differ starkly from one village to the next. The panel is filled out by the artists Peter Cusack, Martyna Poznańska and Karolina Grzywnowicz talking about art installations referring to forests they have designed for Unsound but really the stars of the show (for once) are the people waiting to ask questions at the end. An impassioned quartet of (young, cool, female) ecological protestors reject asking questions in favour of making powerful (and emotional) statements. The four protestors – or Puszcza Riot as they should obviously call themselves – have come directly from a blockade fighting the loggers to speak this afternoon. ”
My Body Is The Forest, The Forest Is My Body – Martyna Poznańska
The forest as a body is a living organism. The individual trees that constitute a forest as well as the cells in a human body are connected through a complex electro-magnetic system through which they communicate persisting as a whole and protecting itself if endangered. If a part of the forest falls sick the other part might feed it minerals and water to protect it and to cure it. If one part is cut down, the other part will fall ill acknowledging the loss. The body as an organism is also intrinsically connected and aware of anything that happens even if we’re talking about the distance between toes and eyebrows, it is proved scientifically that cells in our bodies communicate between each other.
The Project emerges from an urge to express, interpret and connect sudden, unexpected and unwanted, in the end overwhelming and draining or frustrating events or processes, which take place in the Bialowieski Forest in the Region of Podlasie in the North East Part of Poland as well as in my own Body.