‘You Me Swim Blackbird’ in Soundworks, ICA London

News — 19 June - 16 September 2012

New work ‘You Me Swim Blackbird‘ will be presented as part of the ICA exhibition SOUNDWORKS. Institute of Contemporary Art, London. In conjunction with Bruce Nauman’s Days, SOUNDWORKS presents a series of sound submissions by a hundred artists from around the world. To explore the SOUNDWORKS online space please visit www.ica.org.uk/soundworks

“One hundred new sound works have been produced by artists from all over the world. Selected by our curators and art institutions worldwide, the artists have been invited to submit a sound file, taking its stimulus from themes evoked in Bruce Nauman’s Days, presented concurrently in the lower gallery as part of our season on sound.

SOUNDWORKS embraces the ephemeral nature of sound, and presents an online platform that doubles as a virtual exhibition space. This site aims to make the works internationally accessible, a place to explore the genre as a medium which is simultaneously inclusive, interactive, and subversive. It includes a wide range of audible approaches by artists who have been working with the medium for many years, as well as artists taking their first venture into the sonic arts.”



You Me Swim Blackbird creates an awareness of one’s own lived time through sound. It presents the sounds of internal memories of growth and external markers of life: the pulsating rhythms of a mother and her unborn baby’s heartbeats, the bubbling bursting sounds of breathing while swimming, and the periodic bursts of a blackbird’s springtime call. The sound of a body inside a body, a body crossing from water to air, and a body calling through air. The Rijksmuseum’s carillon signals the calculated motions of Amsterdam, wafting over the urgent rhythms of life. The sounds were recorded using everyday consumer technology: a handheld ultrasound device for listening to your foetus’s heartbeat, a handheld waterproof camera, and a laptop computer’s built-in microphone. Each captures a sonic quality that makes the intensity of the sounds more palpable, more internal or more open. Yolande Harris’ You Me Swim Blackbird was commissioned by and created especially for the ICA for the Soundworks exhibition in response to Bruce Nauman’s Days.