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Arctic artist 2017: Kat Austen

Arctic artist 2017: Kat Austen

Kat Austen

Kat Austen travelled to the Arctic in the summer of 2017. Her work seeks to combine perspectives around dispersal - of ice, culture and identity - into a series of sound, video and sculpture works to further explore engendering empathy for the Arctic region.

Find out more about Kat's work

The Matter of the Soul

I am a new media artist and I create multi-sensory, dynamic installations. The central question that drives my work is: when we know so much about human effects on climate and the environment, what else do we need to know before we make material changes to our lives to ameliorate these effects?

From my residency in the Arctic, I am creating a new piece called The Matter of the Soul. Building on my previous work the Coral Empathy Device, will be exploring how to convey felt and sensual knowledges about a non-human agent in an attempt to engender embodied and emotional knowledge.

To create this work, I explored both the visual aesthetics of the Arctic, and the process of transformation present there. The Matter of the Soul brings together three types of transformation - that of physical transformation of water between ice and liquid, cultural and individual transformations that happen when humans migrate, and the transformation of identity through dispersal online. The outcome will be a sculptural installation and sound work created using material, recordings and inspiration gathered in the Arctic.

Find out more about:

Hacking scientific equipment to make sound for this project

Roger Pimenta - Kat Austen in her Studio on the Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Kat Austen in her Studio on the Akademik Sergey Vavilov — by Roger Pimenta

Exploring cultures of food and home in the Arctic

A mining ship sails to the Baffinland Iron Mine past the town of Pond Inlet, Baffin Island, Nunavut, — by Kat Austen

Or listen to the sounds in this radio interview with me:

Interview and preview of The Matter of the Soul recordings on Datscha Radio, 27th August 2017