Reality-based Audio Workshop is a collaborative project comprising of accomplished artists from Norway and the nordic countries attempting to re-think the relationship between sound and reality in our time. The artists all use field recording as the core of their artistic activities, and approach a site armed with advanced recording technology from hydrophones to surround sound microphones. The recordings are then improvised and mixed collaboratively into a sound work. Participating artists are Signe Lidén, Alexander Rishaug, Bodil Furu, Rune Søchting, Yngvild Færøy, Jiska Huizing, Siri Austeen, Joakim Blattmann, Eduardo Abrantes, Halla Stefansdottir, Espen Sommer Eide and Ernst Karel.
Initiated by BEK – Bergen center for electronic arts, the artists have visited Mongstad, an industrial area North of Bergen, to record on-site and follow CO2 gas from the refinery, through the CO2 capture facility – which Jens Stoltenberg called Norway’s “Moon Landing” – to an algae plantation where CO2 is used in the cultivation of edible algae. The attempts at making a circular path of the CO2 in this facility, becomes a symbol of the biggest issues facing Norway today, concerning our past and our future.
Notions of “place” must be seen in new light when concepts such as “post truth” and “fake news” in recent years have become actualised. Do we need to find new ways to do reality-based audio recordings when the differences between truth and fiction have become politicised? Can sound art find a new way to bridge the gaps of a more polarized media reality?