AM Kanngieser

Transversal Geographies

audio works Oceanic Refractions CTM x Transmediale 2024

Exhibition text:
We had seen this happening. The birds have been flying off. We're just not listening to what the birds say.– Prof Unaisi Nabobo-Baba

The climate crisis, an expression of colonial-capitalist violence, is intensifying rapidly. Oceanic frontline communities have long been navigating changing ecosystems. It is through cultures of reciprocity between people, lands and waters, that these changes are being experienced. By listening to environments we recognise our interdependence with the earth; we need one another to survive. Across Oceania, interdependence enables self-determination, collaboration and care in the face of incommensurable loss and grief.

Professor Nabobo-Baba’s comment is one of many Oceanian perspectives, grounded in such interdependence. In Oceanic Refractions, field recordings of the reefs of Fiji, the oceans and mangroves of Kiribati, and the shorelines of Papua New Guinea’s Duke of York Islands are interwoven with reflections from teachers, artists, fisherpeople, grandparents, and chiefs. Moved by listening and silence, Oceanic Refractions offers audiences rare insights into the environmental relations sustaining Oceania’s many worlds.

The result of several years of research and talanoa (dialogue) with Indigenous leaders, scholars, artists and advocates from Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, the Marshall Islands and Nauru, the work is led and produced by artists AM Kanngieser (Australia/Germany) and Mere Nailatikau (Fiji) who combine their expertise in climate research, education and arts (Kanngieser) and Pacific communication and international relations (Nailatikau), as they work with sound artist KMRU (Kenya/Germany), filmmakers Laisiasa Dave Lavaki (Fiji) and Tumeli Tuqota (Fiji), olfactory designer Smell Art (Australia), design and fabrication studio Space Forms (Ireland) and projection specialist FrameWorks (Ireland).

Oceanic Refractions is co-produced by CTM Festival and transmediale e.V. with funding from the Hauptstadtkulturfonds (German Capital Culture Fonds), Creative Australia, and Australian Cultural Fund with support from the European Commission and the Asia Foundation.

Oceanic Refractions 2024
14'02 (ingress/egress 4')
20 channel sound, 1 sub, 4 transducers.
16 projectors, 360 degree screen.
Custom built moveable seating.
Artistic production: AM Kanngieser and Mere Nailatikau.
Testimonies: Lydia Jacob (Papua New Guinea), Unaisi Nabobo-Baba (Fiji), Simione Sevudredre (Fiji), Philip Tacom (Papua New Guinea), and Teweiariki Teaero (Kiribati).
Visuals: Laisiasa Dave Lavaki, Tumeli Tuqota and Mere Nailatikau.
Sound: Joseph Kamaru and AM Kanngieser.
Mastering: Stephan Mathieu
Fabrication: Sara Murphy and Frank Prendergast (Space Forms).
Projection System Design and Install: Olan Clarke (FrameWorks).
Olfactory: Erin Adams (Smell Art).