Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Telephone: 312.787.4071


Jacob Kirkegaard, “AION,” 2016.

Jacob Kirkegaard
Lampo Performance Series
Apr 08, 2017 (8pm)

Please RSVP

In his first Chicago performance, Jacob Kirkegaard presents AION, recorded and filmed in four abandoned spaces inside the radioactive zone around the former nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine.

AION—infinity or eternity in ancient Greek—was inspired by the groundbreaking sound work I am sitting in a room (1969), by artist Alvin Lucier, in which Lucier recorded himself saying, “I am sitting in a room, different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice.” He then played these phrases back and recorded them again, until the different layers of his voice began to merge. Kirkegaard has taken Lucier’s action a step further, recording the resonance of an empty swimming pool, concert hall, gymnasium, and church, inside the Chernobyl exclusion area.

Kirkegaard put up a microphone and speaker in each space, started the recording, and left. After ten minutes, he returned, stopped the recording, played it back into the same room, and made a new recording. With each new layer, subtle sounds enlarged and deepened until they turned into one rich hum with many overtones. In effect, he has recorded the voices of rooms.

Jacob Kirkegaard (b.1975, Esbjerg, Denmark) is an artist focused on the scientific and aesthetic aspects of resonance, time, sound, and hearing. His installations, compositions, and performances deal with acoustic spaces and phenomena that usually remain imperceptible. Using unorthodox recording tools, including accelerometers, hydrophones, and home-built electromagnetic receivers, Kirkegaard captures and contextualizes previously unheard sounds from a variety of environments: a geyser, a sand dune, an empty room, a glacier, and even the human inner ear itself.

Based in Berlin, Kirkegaard is a graduate of the Academy for Media Arts in Cologne. He has presented his works at exhibitions, festivals, and conferences throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark; the Menil Collection, Houston; Rothko Chapel, Houston; Aichi Triennale, Nagoya; and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. He has released several albums on Touch, Important Records, and other labels. He is also a member of the sound art collective freq_out.

On Friday, April 7, 6 p.m, Kirkegaard will also give an artist talk in conjunction with this performance at the Lampo Annex, Monadnock Building, 53 W. Jackson Boulevard #1656, to discuss his audio-video work in Chernobyl as well as similar projects in Fukushima and other nuclear power plants.  RSVP here

Since 2010 the Graham Foundation has supported and partnered with Lampo to produce this performance series held at the Madlener House. Lampo, founded in 1997, is a non-profit organization for experimental music and intermedia projects.