The Canadian Art Database

Katarina Soukup and Jayson Kunnuk

Nipi means "sound, voice, recording" in Inuktitut. Zvuk means "sound" in Czech.

Arctic Audio
Sound Article

Phonographies From the Arctic to Bohemia
sound installation at CESTA (Cultural Exchange Station Tabor) Tabor, CZ
August 2004

Using an array of specialized microphones (hydrophone, binaurals, parabolic mic, etc) and experimental field recording techniques, Kunnuk and Soukup captured and created on-site "phonographies" – experimental audio portraits – of various locations in the Czech Republic, including Tabor. These phonographies were then built into a sound installation for public presentation at CESTA.

Kunnuk and Soukup listened carefully, fine-tuning their fleshy and electronic ears everywhere (the street, the woods, the neighbourhood pub!) to capture unusual yet typical aspects of a Czech aural environment. This sonic exploration entailed a cross-cultural collaboration between someone for whom this world is home (Soukup is of Czech descent) and someone for whom this world is very strange and curious (Kunnuk is an Inuk from the Canadian arctic). The dialogue between strange and familiar enabled them to capture both insider and outsider impressions through sound.

In the spring and summer of 2003, they did a similar project but in reverse: exploring the sonic environment of the Canadian arctic: Kunnuk's beloved home turf, and a strange, beautifully surreal world for Soukup. Their arctic audio archive has been incorporated into experimental phonographies, webcast performances, theatrical presentations, and a group show at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2004.

Arctic Phonographies

From The Arctic To Bohemia


Artist Bios

Katarina Soukup is a media artist whose work has been presented in Japan, the Netherlands, Canada, Austria, and the Czech Republic. She has collaborated with Inuit media artists in various capacities since 1997, including in 2001 as co-producer, technical director, and audio reporter for Live from the Tundra (, a website which streamed audio and video dispatches from a remote Inuit outpost camp in Nunavut with a high-speed-data satellite telephone. She has been communications director for Igloolik Isuma Productions, the renowned artist collective behind the acclaimed Inuit feature film Atanarjuat The Fast Runner, since October 2000. She lives in Montréal.

Jayson Kunnuk is an experienced Inuk hunter, carver, and media artist from the remote Inuit settlement of Igloolik, Nunavut. He starred in and worked as crew on Arnait Video Productions' documentary Anaana (Mother), and was a participant on Live from the Tundra. Kunnuk is currently working on an experimental audio website exploring the complexity of Inuit family relations and divides his time between Montréal and Igloolik.

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