FATA MORGANA – OR THE SEARCH FOR IT/ Video projection: 8m x 3,2 m / Sound / Künstlerhaus Sootbörn / Hamburg 2022
Video – Sound-Installation
The video projection of a drift.
The sound of a storm can be heard filling the room, a blowing and whistling.
1. Research project in the Wadden Sea / 2021
FATA MORGANA - OR THE SEARCH FOR IT
Funded by VG Bildkunst
The prerequisite of seeing is light. Light falls on something and makes it visible.
When light appears to be totally reflected at the boundary between warm air and cold air, mirages occur. For the observer, objects appear in places where they are not in reality.
If the presence of an extended water surface is simulated, this is called a mirage.
Based on the phenomenon of the mirage, the search for a visual illusion was the main component of my research at the North Sea.
A search for irritation as a starting point of research. Search, volatility, appearances and their dissolution were elaborated on the basis of various spatial concepts with videos and sounds.
Finally presented at the exhibition Fata Morgana or the search for it at Künstlerhaus Sootbörn / Hamburg / Germany
A mirage is strange. It is strange and disturbing. Something appears that irritates us. It astonishes us. We see something that we can not properly classify. Something that eludes the usual, or everyday, what we know, in a strange way.
In her work Fata Morgana or the Search for it, Kathrin Horsch embarks on a research trip to the North Sea in order to track down precisely this peculiarity. However, the point in time she sets her sights on for her research work is quite contradictory to a scientific approach. Kathrin Horsch chooses the darkest and stormiest month of November, the period in which the appearance of a mirage is actually impossible.
Although she cannot encounter the strange in this particular, this special form of a mirage, Kathrin Horsch nevertheless sets out in search of it and confronts us with the fact that this ‚One‘, what she is looking for, can be anything. That this ‚one‘, which irritates us and astonishes us, is at the same time everything we come into contact with.
The impossibility for this, to find a mirage and still look for it, opens the view on what remains. To what remains when even a last remnant of knowledge, when the hold that the mirage promises us dissolves. When we can no longer say that what irritates us is something specific, something strange, a mirage. Kathrin Horsch opens the view to what remains when this certainty does not exist. When we cannot explain what irritates us, what eludes our experience, our conviction, or our imagination. When it remains strange to us, when we can no longer answer the question of what it is that irritates us.
It is precisely this residue of knowledge, this hold that we assure ourselves of through the mirage, that disappears in Kathrin Horsch’s hopeless search. It is impossible to get in touch with the irritation. It does not work. Instead, however, on Kathrin Horsch’s search we enter we get in contact with ourselves. The movements that Kathrin Horsch presents to us are movements that allow us to get closer to ourselves.
Kathrin Horsch creates situations within which we come into contact. One does not only look at, or see the events exposed by Kathrin Horsch in various videos, one feels them. One is in contact with the things and feels how they themselves are in contact with each other. There is nothing more than this contact. There is no resolution. Every determination or fixation is always interrupted by something.
Everything remains in contact: Again the door bangs next to the blue wall, suddenly the car is diverted, ever further the wind blows the sand around. Where something presents itself, it disappears at the same moment and in the same way in which it appears. Just as the crevice begins to form on the white wall, it disappears. Just as the sand moves towards something, the wind keeps interfering with every manifestation of the same. Every time.
But always there is something. Always there is something between the one and the other. Always there is something between what we see and us.
Always something makes itself noticeable. Draws our attention to itself.
Where we had only paid attention to the column, suddenly the white wall makes itself noticeable. Only now do we feel that we have been exposed to the sound of the wind all along. There is always something that draws us in, even though nothing is happening. The door slams open and closed. The column moves back and forth. Still, it’s not clear what’s coming next. Not clear what turn will take place. Immersed in the movement of the sand, we are suddenly irritated by the whistling of the wind.We are touched by the car that does not lose sight of its goal and is all alone.
Kathrin Horsch does not present us with anything specific in her search for the mirage.we do not see anything that we could look at from a distance, that we could look at from the outside. Quite the opposite. In Kathrin Horsch’s search for the mirage, the strange is released from our imagination. It suddenly shows up everywhere. Whenever we get close to something, whenever we come into contact with it, it always comes between us.
Research project in the Chihuahuan Desert / Texas / USA / 2022
Funded by Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn 2022
Building on the previous research project Fata Morgana – or the search for it, which dealt with the search for a mirage in the Wadden Sea, a further research project took place in the Texan desert in 2022.
The desert as empty space, as a place of extremes, wasteland and endless expanse. Calm and clear, simple and unpretentious.
Phenomenal light conditions by day and one of the darkest night skies in North America in southwest Texas.
Near the town of Marfa, mysterious light phenomena, the so-called Marfa lights, seen over the horizon at night have been part of the research.
Suddenly appearing whirring balls of light that dissipate just as unexpectedly, only to reappear elsewhere.
Since the late 19th century, the Marfa lights in Texas have been unexplained, and research on them has been conducted at various levels. According to one among many other studies, vehicle lights are suspected to be on the distant highways, appearing unusually bright even over the long distance due to hardly any artificial light sources in the area. According to meteorologists, mirages are created that make the light appear much closer than it really is.
THE FOCUS WAS ON THE MAGIC OF INEXPLICABLE AND THE EXPECTATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH IT.
View point for the MARFA LIGHTS
Video MARFA LIGHTS / Sound: Truck-Driver Daniel / Marfa / Texas / 2022
ANOTHER ASPECT WAS THE SOUND OF THE ENVIRONMENT.
Not to capture spectacular sounds, but rather to focus on the sounds that constantly surround us, everywhere. Above and below.
The vinyl record ABOVE / BELOW was created in 2023 with recordings above and below ground in the Chihuahua Desert / Texas / USA
3. Research project in Abisko / Northern Sweden / March 2023
Sounds in the sky
Funded by Stiftung Kunstfonds 2023
Building on previous research trips that focused on the phenomenon of mirages in the Wadden Sea and continuing with the Marfa lights in the Texas desert, the next project focused on auroras in the Arctic. Where previously the focus was on visual phenomena, in this research project my main interest was in the acoustics of such phenomena.
When charged particles from the sun enter the earth’s atmosphere, they trigger a light show in the sky. How such auroras are created has now been scientifically clarified.
But whether they can be heard as well as seen has long been disputed.
The project was based on an exchange with the Finnish acoustics researcher Unto Laine, who has been conducting research on auroral sounds for almost 20 years.
Inversion layer provides sounds
Sounds of the aurora are heard when the air in the higher layers is warmer than the air near the ground. It is in the layer about 75 meters above the ground, where the cold air meets the warm air, that the sounds occur. In this area, there is an electrical charge that interacts with the electromagnetic field of the aurora.
Images of the Aalto University in Helsinki
(Unto K. Laine)
Furthermore, in addition to the research around the sounds in the sky, a temporary sound installation was installed in Puoltikasvaara / Northern Sweden, showing the combination of above and below both acoustically and visually.
Puoltikasvaara / Sweden / 2023
Temporary light / sound installation
A confined space of 80cm x 100cm in the ground surface of the snow landscape marked by luminous LED strips, below an excavated layer with installed heating modules radiating heat upwards, a microphone installed in the snow for recording the melting process.