10 NOV / 20H

Photo by Arild Midtbø Kalseth

The sound art of Jacob Kirkegaard explores ways to reflect on immediate complex, unnoticed or unapproachable aspects of the human condition or civilisation. His works have treated themes such as radioactivity in Chernobyl and Fukushima, melting ice in the Arctic, border walls in Palestine, and tones – otoacoustic emissions – generated from the actual human ear.
Kirkegaard’s most recent projects use the sound of global waste and waste management the sound environments related to the immediate human post mortem.
With his peculiar alchemist approach and extensive research, complex phenomena and current conditions are portrayed through composition, installation, video and photography. Rather than providing answers, his portrayals create spaces for reflexion.
Kirkegaard has presented his works at galleries, museums, biennales and concert spaces throughout the world, including MoMA in New York, LOUISIANA – Museum of Modern Art and ARoS in Denmark, The Menil Collection and at the Rothko Chapel in Houston, The Sydney Biennale in Australia, Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan.


A sound work on four significant death-spaces
Four listening spaces for one of the existential and natural aspects of being alive, which is death.

The project portrays four sound environments that the human body commonly will be surrounded by or exposed to after dying: a morgue, an autopsy, a cremation and the decomposition – events that no one will ever get to sense on their own bodies because of the very fact of death. OPUS MORS is an immersive, intimate and powerfully detailed sonic meditation into these four significant death spaces.

Opus Morturarium
Two ambient recordings made inside two morgues listens within the deep tones from the facilities that keep the corpses cold

Opus Autopsia
Detailed near-field sound recordings of a full autopsy starting with opening the corpse, following the removal and slicing and cutting open all the organs and brain, to finally returning all the organs, closing and washing the corpse. This work reveals each unique sonic timbre of the human organs. 

Opus Crematio
Coffin being rolled into the oven, the oven’s different burning stages, the removal and relocation of the ashes into the ash cooler and then to the bone crusher. Finally, the ashes being poured into the urn. Vibration sensors placed on the surfaces of the oven reveal the inside sound environment of the oven. 

Opus Putesco
Sound recordings made at a forensic study facility where donated corpses are placed in an enclosed nature area to decompose while being studied. This work was made from near-field sound recordings of decomposing corpses recorded with measurement microphones placed 1 cm above – as well as with vibration sensors inside the corpses.