The urban soundwalk along the Ljubljanica river takes us to the places of the river’s origin. The artist brings the resonating sound of the water karst caves to the city center – the sound of silence which is occasionally interrupted by drops percolating through limestone.
Dark Drops project (2017–2021) gives voice to a place which is unfamiliar and unknown to the human ear. The artist visited several karst caves, and the sound recordings used in her 8-channel composition draw mainly from the Zelše Caves and Planina Cave with the Pivka, Rak and Unica rivers being one river called Ljubljanica further downstream.
Drops resonating in the darkness of the caves are a condensed representation of a complex and extreme environment that is still charged with mystery and a unique beauty, and where the geological and biological time seem to move at a different pace. The sound that breaks the cave silence is the sound of the water dropping. Little but ever-present drops transmit information on the living conditions in the forests, grassland, fields and cities deep into the cave, being both a source of food for biological life and the construction material for the geological structures.
The sound walk was made while working on a homonymous 8-channel sound installation for the Steklenik gallery.
Robertina Šebjanič is an internationally awarded artist, whose work revolves around the biological, chemical, political and cultural realities of aquatic environments and explores humankind’s impact on other species and on the rights of non-human entities, while calling for strategies emphatic towards other species to be adopted. In her analysis of the theoretical framework of the Anthropocene, the artist uses the terms aquatocene and aquaforming to refer to humans’ impact on aquatic environments.
Artist: Robertina Šebjanič
Translation and editing: Melita Silič
Cover photo: Miha Gobec
Production: Cona, Institute for Contemporary Arts Processing, 2021
part of the festival Sound Walk City · prelude
part of the project Acoustic Commons
Sound Walk City · prelude was initiated by the walk · listen · create platform, in collaboration with the Cona Institute. The Ljubljana edition is produced by the Cona Institute, Steklenik Gallery