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Ghostly Matters!, Vanessà Heer
24m 25s, sound
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The work of Swiss artist Vanessà Heer Ghostly Matters! is an invitation to explore the practice of non-human listening and to concentrate on a metaphysical journey of memory.

The artist is a witness of sound and thanks to recording technologies she brings us back the acoustic suggestions of a walk in the mountains. Regardless of place or space, this sound report gives us the possibility to listen and participate in this experience. Our ears have been amplified by microphones and so we find ourselves able to be receptors of sounds that we could never have heard because we have not being there directly.

As undirected listeners to the experience, we are invited to perceive and attribute a new value to objects, whose relationships generate sound in their collision and encounter. Nature becomes ani-mated, the elements of nature are the active protagonists of the exploration. Their reactions appear unexpected to us and put us in discussions with the limits of our human comprehension.

Vanessà Heer, in her process of documentation, decides to get involved. The artist does not aban-don the sounds to their reality, but chooses to guide us and interact with them, creating further sug-gestions for the listener, but also in direct experience for herself. In assuming this half-human, half-animal state, Vanessà Heer questions the relationship between artist and nature, but also that be-tween present and memory. Can memory be recorded? Ghostly Matters! is in fact a reflection on the value that can be attributed to the process of research and experimentation of capturing and documenting the intimate acoustic relationship with the places of our memory.

The artist thus invites us to reflect and to assume a new awareness in our relationship with the sound dimension of our human and non-human experience. Enjoy the listening.

Vanessà Heer's work was recorded and processed in the winter of 2021. It is an edited work pre-sented for the first time at OTO SOUND MUSEUM.



Vanessà Heer



Vanessà Heer (1989, CH) is a Swiss-born and Zurich based sound artist. Her practice unfolds around live performances and installations. In different contexts, collaborations and spaces she ex-plores the political and ethical possibilities of conscious listening and how it can be used as a femi-nist, decolonial and sustainable tool. In both her performative and her installative works, she con-stantly oriented towards questions of commonality, collaboration, the dissolving authorship, and the challenges of self-precarization. Her immersive sonic interventions are grounded in questions such as the relationship between individual perception and collective dynamics or the investigation of lis-tening expectations and their societal roots.

She studied at the Zurich University of the Arts, both Theory and Fine Arts.
Among the exhibitions: WO WIR. Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, CH, Other Planes of There.Gessneral-lee. Zurich, CH, Spinewave. Public Voices! w/AMBRA, Pro Helvetia/COINCIDENCIA. Buenos Aires, Argentina, BFF Art 2015: no.01_silent riots of vulnerability. UFO Factory, Detroit, USA, Hammam Singing – Appenzeller Zäuerli. Marrakech Biennale 2016, Morocco.Among the Publications: Simulacrum. Journal for contemporary art and culture, Amsterdam (2020), Art, Self & System. Edited by Donatella Bernardi, Sternberg Press, Berlin (2019), Art & Crisis. A Polyphonic Research on the Contemporary. Edited by Donatella Bernardi, JRP|Ringier, Zurich (2018).

She is part of the artist Collective AMBRA (Zurich).



21 January - 20 February 2022



OTO SOUND MUSEUM constitutes in a collection of sound works. The recognition and conservation of works of intangible nature is one of the missions that characterized the museum since its foundation. The presentation of soundscapes in the museum marks their entry into the collection, which also becomes an archive for consultation available to anyone interested, including researchers, curators or institutions.



Ghostly Matters!, 2022
Vanessà Heer (1989, CH)

00:00 / 24m 25s, sound
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