Åletanken (2021) Mixed media installation 3-channel audio, looped, 02:09 min. Mobile sculptures, textile print on recycled polyester Dimensions variable Performance 60 min.
Åletanken (Danish: The Eel Tank) plays from 3 mobile sculptures in the shape of backpacks. The piece is a web of translation acts based on a text seeking to encapsulate scattered childhood memories from encounters with a former milk tank used for keeping eels. The text was fed into a text-to-speech reader program upon entering ”wrong” language settings for the artist to subsequently learn to imitate the computer-generated and linguistically falsified audio bits and finally re-record them. The childhood memory, in itself distorted, incomplete, fragmentary, was linguistisised, then ”translated” by means of a program; not by imitating the content, but only the form and tongue of the foreign language, to be again re-appropriated by the artist.
The three parts of the sound piece are heard together when the sculptures stand still. Åletanken captures a space between linguistic frequencies, pauses in the ghostly experience of not knowing which language to listen on, and giggles at the collection of throat sounds to which we teach each other to attach meaning.
As a performance, the backpacks and the associated soundtracks move around the exhibition area, intertwining with the audience's languages, adding an extra dimension of polyphony to the work.