Ramblings 漫游 by Catherine Clover
13 December 2017
@Floating Projects, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong
Catherine’s art practice is based on sound and listening, with a focus on voice and language across species and, in particular, vocal connections between people and birds. This performance addresses the local sedentary birds of Hong Kong as well as migratory visitors that fly through Hong Kong on the East Asia/Australia flyway. Birds migrate on specific routes around the world known as flyways, and this particular flyway, which millions of birds use, connects Melbourne, Australia in the south, where Catherine lives, with Hong Kong and to the north includes Arctic Russia and North America. Most of the migratory birds are spending summer in the warmth of the south at this time of year. Landscape and language are deeply connected in people and no less so, I suggest, in birds. Rural and urban landscapes shape the sounds of voices and through migration, the sounds of the birds’ voices link geographies that are thousands of miles apart.
The performance will begin with a sound walk in the local area of Wong Chuk Hang where Floating Projects is located. This walk will start at 5.30pm, sunset in Hong Kong and will last 30-40 minutes. Dusk is a noisy time when birds are settling for the night, and the walk will encourage participants to listen to the sounds of the birds’ voices in relation to their own. Back at Floating Projects the performance will include projected images, field recordings, readings, improvisation with bird whistles, participatory voicing of bird names in both English and Cantonese and attempts at bird sounds.
About the artist
Catherine Clover’s multidisciplinary practice addresses communication through voice and language and the interplay between hearing/listening and seeing/reading. Using field recording, digital imaging and the spoken/written word she is exploring an expanded approach to language within species and across species through a framework of everyday experience. With listening as a key focus and the complexity of the urban as a shared sonic space, the artworks prompt transmission and reception through the fluidity, instability and mobility of voicing and languaging. The artworks are social in nature and frequently involve collaboration and participation with other artists as well as with audiences. The artworks take several forms including texts/scores, soundworks, installations, external public artworks, readings, radio, live performance, readings and artist books. Brought up in London, she came to Melbourne through an arts residency with Gertrude Contemporary in the 1990s. Exhibiting and performing within Australia and internationally, she teaches at Swinburne University (MA Writing) Melbourne, and holds a practice led PhD (Fine Art) through RMIT University.