Galerija za zvok, bioakustiko in umetnost / Gallery for sound, bioacustics and art

Robertina Šebjanič: Line |  +1233m  –1233m

live sound event / Saturday, 20 May 2023, at 21:00
part of Kako nas čuje more / Heard by the Deep
Beton Kino, Dom mladih, Split

The work of Robertina ŠEBJANIČ deals with the sonority of the sea in a vertical strip deep under and above the surface. With the telling title, the artist refers to one of the deepest points in the southern Adriatic, conveying a message about empathy and solidarity in one’s coexistence with all more-than-human beings and ecosystems. The poetic audiovisual work offers an immersive experience. In her entire body of audiovisual research works, Šebjanič encourages reflection on the human impact on oceans.

The text from the booklet accompanying the work was prepared by Lena ORTEGA and is available here.

Photo: Kaja BREZOČNIK, MOL archive.

Line | +1233m –1233m is a poetic audiovisual work that deals with the sonority of the sea in a vertical strip deep under and above the surface to encourage reflection on new (ecological) realities in the age of the Anthropocene.

The vertical movements between sea layers account for one of the biggest migration routes in the marine environment, used daily and seasonally by millions of animals in all the world’s oceans and seas to constitute continuous synchronised movement between surface and deeper ocean layers. In the exhibited project, the artist symbolically discusses such movement by referring to one of the deepest points in the southern Adriatic (–1233m).

At the heart of this intermedia artwork is the concept of empathy and solidarity in coexistence with more-than-human entities. As a counterpoint, the artist highlights the importance of one’s awareness of the environment one shares with the Other, encouraging critical reflection on its ecological vulnerability.

Photo: Kaja Brezočnik, MOL archive.

The work was designed using a set of data on temperature, salinity and hardness of the waters of the southern Adriatic from the last 30 years, and the measurements taken by the artist in 2021 and 2022 and analysed in collaboration with the University of Dubrovnik’s Institute for Marine and Coastal Research, and the artificial intelligence expert Tanja Minarik. By sonifying databases of biogeochemical impacts on daily vertical migrations, acquired using of assorted remote sensing instruments, and inserting her own sound recordings made below and above the water surface, the artist reveals yet unexplored sonorous deep-sea environments, placing them in dialogue with the airiness of the landscape above.

Evangelista Torricelli, a Renaissance mathematician and the architect of the atmospheric pressure theory, wrote: “We live submerged at the bottom of an ocean of the element air, which by unquestioned experiments is known to have weight.” The atmosphere is the ocean, and the ocean is the atmosphere. Line | +1233m –1233m is a call to immerse oneself in a space of continually shifting under- and above-water sounds. It is an invitation to re-assess one’s relationship to the environment; to enter the zone of aquatocene, a result of marine landscape industrialisation deep down below.

Robertina ŠEBJANIČ is an artist whose work explores the biological, (geo)political and cultural realities of aquatic environments and the impact of humanity on other organisms. Her projects call for the development of empathetic strategies aimed at recognising the other (non-human) species. In her analysis of the Anthropocene and its theoretical framework, the artist uses the terms “aquatocene” and “aquaforming” to refer to the human impact on aquatic environments. Her works received awards and nominations at Prix Ars Electronica, Starts Prize, Falling Walls.

She exhibited / performed at solo and group exhibitions as well as in galleries and festivals: Ars electronica Linz, Kosmica festival_ Laboratorio Arte Alameda_Mexico City, La Gaîté Lyrique_ Paris, Le Cube_Paris, MONOM_ CTM Berlin, Art Laboratory Berlin, ZKM_Karlsruhe, re:publica_Berlin, Mladi Levi_Ljubljana, Centro de Cultura Digita_ Mexico City, Piksel_Bergen, OSMO/ZA_Ljubljana, Device art 5.015 at Klovičevi dvori_Zagreb, Eastern Bloc_Montreal, Eyebeam_New York, PORTIZMIR#3_ Izmir, Kiblix festival_Maribor, Spektrum_Berlin, KIKK festival_ Namur, +MSUM (Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova)_Ljubljana and more….

Lena ORTEGA ATRISTAIN (aka Leena Lee) is a sound artist, researcher, designer, and teacher with a master’s degree in Visual Arts and a Ph.D. in Art History from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Her doctoral studies focused on contemporary art that works with nature/natural phenomena as a medium, where she approaches these constructions from the context of atmosphere and the embodied experience of nature. She has more than a decade of specialisation in nature/culture relations in practice-based research, primarily with Arte+Ciencia, an interdisciplinary research group at UNAM that works in the intercrossing of art, science, and humanities.


exhibition / 13 Apr – 17 May 2023
artist talk / Thursday, 11 May 2023, at 17:00
Kresija Gallery, Ljubljana

live sound event / Thursday, 17 Nov 2022, at 20:30
installation / 17 – 18 Nov 2022
part of Parallel soundscapes
Kino Šiška, Ljubljana

Artist (video, sound, execution): Robertina ŠEBJANIČ
AI Video and Sound Programming: Tanja MINARIK
Object Manufacturing: David DROLC, Miha GODEC
Audio Mastering: Mauricio VALDES
8-channel Audio Composition Support: HEKA/Pina Koper
Text: Robertina ŠEBJANIČ and Maja LOZIĆ
Expert Advisors: dr. Alenka MALEJ, dr. Matjaž LIČER; Gjino ŠUTIĆ (UR Institute); dr. Marijana HURE and dr. Valter KOZUL (Institute for Marine and Coastal Research, University of Dubrovnik)
Public Relations: Matej TOMAŽIN
Producer: Irena PIVKA
Partner for the display in Kresija Gallery: Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Zavod Sektor
Production: Cona, part of the Steklenik gallery exhibition programme 2023
The exhibition featured in the project has been supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, and the City of Ljubljana, Department of Culture.

The installation part of the project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana, Department for Culture.