Field guide – An introduction

The following exposition is a part of the result of Alexander Rishaug’s artistic research project Sound of time - Tuning into the Norwegian Landscape and the Post-Industrial Soundscape, that was conducted at the Academy of Arts, UiT The Arctic University of Norway within the timeframe October 2018 – November 2021. It offers a web based, non-linear, poetic, personal, essayistic, semi-fictional, journal and reality-based approach to the field of listening, sound art audible memory and field recording.


With emphasis on the North Norwegian landscape Rishaug has been listening, monitoring, documenting, experimenting and engaging with the sonic environment and the Norwegian landscape in the broadest sense, including architecture, industry, human remnants as well as other living beings. This both by looking back into history (listening to the history of listening), exploring archives and by practicing field work, extensive listening and audio recording. Drawing on perspectives and knowledge from listening practices, acoustemology, experimental music, field recording, audio archiving and sound art.


The exposition is structured as a timeline and a log that stretches out over a timespan of three years that offers several entry paths. The timeline and log consist of a list of place names, dates, starting October 2018 and ending in December 2021. Visually the log posts altogether build up a compositional score that form a horizontal landscape. When you click on the hyperlink of a place, a virtual Post-it note appear and unfolds. It reveals everyday notes, reflections, comments, ideas, quotes, images and sound, which document the research process, its methods, how the project evolves over time, its final outcomes and the contribution to the sound art field. 


The timeline exists of two types of entries, the first entry is the logging of places and dates and the second entry offers a nice bouquet of selected themes, that go deeper into the subject matter. Preface (some kind of introduction) grasps the early stage of the project, its starting point its forward-looking perspective and how it slowly becomes and transforms. About the project frames the project, motivation, history, contextualization and methodology. In the text Research Questions Rishaug discusses the premises of his artistic research, its methods, sonic mapping, findings and results. 


Lecture Performance No. I and No. II consists of two lecture performances presented at the Artistic Research Forum, Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021. They were both presented on the digital platform Zoom. In the two texts, Rishaug experiments with the format of artistic presentation, performing the research within a creative, essayistic and surrealistic format. Thinking through sound (listening with your hands) is an article for Blue Rinse Papers, published by Lydgalleriet in Bergen in 2021. It resonates around the practices of field recording and how the narratives and discourse change throughout history. 

What is reflection? (Reflection through practice)? discusses and reflects upon ways to reflect through your artistic research and artistic practiceField Notes – Tuning into the Norwegian Landscape (2018 – 2021) is the name of the book and album documenting three years of extensive field practiceIt was published as part of the final artistic presentation Dissolving Topographies at Tromsø Kunstforening in TromsøRead more in greater depth about my artistic thoughts and processes regarding the artistic presentations and exhibitions in the Exhibition(s) - Thougths and reflections section.

Acknowledgements acknowledge the contribution from all collaborators, piers, technicians, partners, supervisors, students and institutions. The References section offers a microscopic view of the inside of the veins transporting professional knowledge, philosophy, history, audible memory, sonic theory and so on, deep into the artistic reflection’s evolutionary trajectory.