Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty


Texts and media — with accompanying video, audio, or other links where appropriate.

About Minute/Year:

8. July, 2020 El presente suena, resuena
Kassandra Valencia | Essay | Revista 404 (Centro de Cultura Digital, Mexico)

Essay, in Spanish, by Kassandra Valencia about Minute/Year, as part of the Revista 404 essay series of the Centro de Cultura Digital, Mexico.

Las restricciones que establecen lxs artistas al evento sonoro funcionan como una abertura fraccional desde la cual se observa el andar de la vibración sonora. La obra está en continuo desenvolvimiento y opera de manera relacional con otras fuerzas, con otros materiales oscilantes.

28. May, 2020 Remote Voices
Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty with Gabriela Gordillo | Article | Copenhagen Architecture Festival

Article published by the Copenhagen Architecture Festival as part of their ‘corona essays’ series about covid-19 and the built environment. An account of an intervention in Minute/Year organised by Gabriela Gordillo at bb15 in Linz, Austria.

What does it mean to be present in a space, in a time where our access to spaces has been radically restricted? Or: how can the idea of being present in a space be re-imagined?

30. November, 2019 Tagesspiegel Checkpoint
Thomas Wochnik | Preview | Der Tagesspiegel

Preview, in German, of the presentation Minute/Year: Four Years, in grüntaler9 in November 2019, in the culture section of Der Tagesspiegel and in the Checkpoint newsletter.

Apropos Arbeit und Zeit: Sogenannte „Durational Works“, also Dauer-Arbeiten, bezeichnen Kunst, die wesentlich von der bloßen Zeit lebt, über die sich ihre Herstellung oder Aufführungsdauer erstreckt. Die Klanginstallation „Minute/Year“ des Künstlerduos Kovács/O’Doherty zeichnet seit dem 1. Januar 2016 jeden Tag automatisch eine Minute akustisch auf. Jährlich wechselt zudem ihr Raum. Bei jeder neuen Aufnahme wird zugleich über Lautsprecher ein Echo aller vorgegangenen Tage abgespielt, das so in jede neue Aufnahme hinein klingt.

15. November, 2019 Daily traces: self-surveillance, human vestiges, and sound as memory
Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty | Conference talk | PARSE Research Conference

Talk given at the third biennial PARSE Research Conference, at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

The acoustic traces allow a kind of indexing of the mundane, in a form where it can become strange and transformed.

20. May, 2019 Seize the Minute
Annika Haas | Article | Exhibition text

Article by Annika Haas about Minute/Year at grüntaler9 in 2019. Presented as an accompanying text for the Minute/Year: Open Minute #2, 2019 event on 20. May, 2019. Translated into German by the author as Auf die Minute kommt es an.

Minute/Year allows a remembering of the previous day, while at the same time it spurs thoughts of the following one: what will happen in this space tomorrow, at the exact same time, when today’s recording will be played back to it? This particular minute of the day can suddenly become an important moment for those who experience it in the space. Every day anew this minute holds the potential to record the most eventful — or the least interesting — archive of a particular day. Over the course of the year it becomes one of 365 snippets logging the specificity of the everyday.

20. May, 2019 Space Tone
Lynn Kühl | Interview | gallerytalk.net

Interview about Minute/Year, in German.

Seit bereits vier Jahren nehmen die Künstler Kata Kovács und Tom O’Doherty täglich für die Installation Minute/Year eine Minute lang den Sound im Raum auf. Das künstlerische Experiment erschließt akustische Basisnoten, die Räume unterscheiden können. Ob diese Klänge wohl auch die Atmosphäre von Orten verändern?

9. June, 2017 Self-surveillance and Pervasive Data
Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty | Artist talk | Scope Sessions

As part of Scope Sessions #66.

There is an odd kind of irony in having the ocean of capitalist efficiency engulf your artwork in unexpected ways.

19. Jan., 2017 Minute/Year (2016)
Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty | Book | Accompanying the exhibition Minute/Year (2016)

Minute/Year (2016) is an artist’s book, compiling together a series of daily notes that were written throughout 2016. These notes give thoughts about each day’s minute, about the process as it developed, and about the implications of the work – artistically, socially, personally. The book presents every spectrogram image from the entire year, and accompanies each one with the thoughts that contextualise and explain it. This writing is sometimes diaristic, sometimes conceptual, sometimes whimsical. It represents an attempt to distill thoughts about the nature of this work as it emerged, during the first year in which it ran.

22. Jan., 2016 A Daily Moment
Johanna Gilje | Interview |

Interview with Johanna Gilje conducted in January 2016, soon after the beginning of Minute/Year.

In a sense, we are ‘micro-surveilling’ one minute of our day, every day, but it’s not really a reclamation — more so a kind of absurdist indexing.

About Other Trains:

12. June, 2020 Searching for Home
Elizabeth Schippers | Article | Berlin Art Link

Preview article on the June 2020 Virtual Open Studio exhibition at GlogauAIR, Berlin, referencing Other Trains.

GlogauAIR’s upcoming Open Studio Exhibition features Kovács/O’Doherty, a local collaborative duo who live and work in Berlin. During their residency, the duo has been researching and re-tracing abandoned train tracks in Berlin and Brandenburg, in an exploration of absence, presence, and memory.

About Carried Bells:

August 2019 Reach out and fetch
Josie Thaddeus-Johns | Article | Textur Magazine

Text by Josie Thaddeus-Johns, accompanying the presentation of Carried Bells at Hošek Contemporary in October 2019. Published by Textur in September 2019.

Watch from the outside, can you see the molecules shake? No, and none of us can.

August 2019 Carried Bells
Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty | Talk | Artist talk

Artist talk about Carried Bells, given at Ponderosa, Stolzenhagen, Germany, in August 2019.

These objects are unique hand-made musical instruments, often centuries old. The process of creating, installing, and ringing them has aspects that are technological, artistic, social, musical, cultural, and religious.

About Signal Tide:

28. May, 2020 Signal Tide — Two Passes: A Special Audio Mix by Kovács/O’Doherty
Joel Ferree | Blog post | LACMA Unframed blog, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Introduction to the Signal Tide — Two Passes audio mix, and accompanying interview about Signal Tide, published by Los Angeles County Museum of Art as part of the 2020 LACMA@home series.

A few years ago LACMA’s Art + Technology Lab hosted a series of special music performances featuring a call and response with a live satellite. Titled Signal Tide, the work was developed to be a poetic reply to the erratic signals of LES-1, a defunct spacecraft that ceased to function in 1967 but unexpectedly started transmitting again in 2013. Signal Tide was essentially a sound and extraterrestrial radio installation, which combined the satellite’s wavering signal overhead with a special generative musical score rising up from a bed of speakers resting on the ground.

19. Sept., 2017 Whispers from Space
Joel Ferree | Blog post | LACMA Unframed blog, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Post on LACMA’s Unframed blog, coinciding with the presentation of Signal Tide in September 2017.

In developing their ‘response’ to the satellite’s ‘call’, Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty looked into the regional tradition of sacred harp singing, a type of choral music that traces its roots back to 18th-century New England. “The LES-1 satellite can be considered, anthropomorphically, as a weary pilgrim on a repeating journey, having left Boston in 1965 and travelled ever since,” the artists explain. “Signal Tide will allow the satellite to be serenaded with music derived from the place that it is originally from.”

27. February, 2018 Interview, Berliner Runde
Rosanna Lovell | Interview | Colaboradio, Berlin

Interview, with Rosanna Lovell, discussing Signal Tide and other recent work. Broadcast live on on 27. February, 2018, on Pi Radio’s Berliner Runde programme.

It was motivating for us to have a critical eye on technology through attempting to resurrect something that is otherwise just regarded as… junk. Space junk.

Other texts and media:

17. November, 2014 Kovács/O’Doherty: The Berlin Agenda Interview
Fridey Mickel | Interview | The Berlin Agenda

Interview by Fridey Mickel, originally published in The Berlin Agenda, on the occasion of the original presentation of Increments at ausland Berlin in 2014.

The aptly-named Increments uses minimal installation, sound, and a light performance element to break five hours down into thirty ten-minute-long increments of building sound drones, which are created through the performative process going on before the viewers’ eyes. In what would perhaps be imagined as a tedious, excruciating sojourn of waiting, time instead passes by quite fluidly, and the overall experience is tremendously cathartic. An hour suddenly seems like fifteen minutes as the waves flow through space and audience, somehow extrapolating each individual thought in the room and looping that into the flow that’s already swirling around.