Born in Moscow and now living and working in London, Tviga is a photographer and installation artist making interactive audio – visual work. Tviga makes sound visible. Her Sound Light and Sound Still projects are conceived in the knowledge that only 8% of the earth’s ancient forests are protected, and that destructive logging is threatening vast areas. She set about recording the sounds of the Silger forest along the border of Russia with Finland – she captured the voices of trees about to be felled – and then made them both audible and visible. In the process she created a series of hauntingly beautiful sounds and of compelling, striking images, like these below.
On her website she shares not only the photographic images but also a thorough documentaion of the working processes she uses. Even though she reveals the bones of how she works in detail, the mystery and magic of her images and sounds win out, and linger persistently in the memory, as she intended.
I move sound. Noise from one location is manifest elsewhere, and in another dimension. I turn sound into 3 dimensional objects which appear to be flat, and then heighten this sense of flattening, and of silence, with the hush of a photograph.
Humans have long been intruiged by visualising sound waves as we are, supposedly, ‘better’ at seeing than hearing. How does one even begin to compare the senses? There are more neurons in our brains devoted to the visual than the aural, and so we might think we are more able to analysize data when it comes from a visual realm.
The white forms in these photographs are the sculptural manifestations of audio footage that was recorded along the border between Russia and Finland. Here the unique old-growth forests stand, The Green Belt of Fennoscandia. Recently these ancient trees are being logged for their valuable timber. There are only few remaining areas of ancient forest in Europe with the vast majority of the vanishing old-growth forests remaining in the North of European Russia.
The soundwaves are actual objects, each is 6 metres high, reminiscent of the height of a tree, despite looking like digital intervention.
I recorded them when the forest was still there. Then, when the trees had gone, I put the ‘sounds’ back to where they used to exist, sounds that look like trees that will never be heard again.
Tviga recorded the sounds of the trees in the Silger forest in the Novrogod region of the Russian federation and then amplified them 250 times. Listen to their voices at her other site Vanished: Forest Studies
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