This summer Cara Stewart ventured to Kvalnes in the north of Norway to visit Thora in her mother’s studio to talk about her unique approach to art making. Dancing between film, photographic images and sound, Thora seems to experience the world with her eyes wide open–constantly capturing the narratives immediately around her.
In this episode Thora shares her current investigations into radio plays as well as experiments with field recordings of the natural reverb of Kvalnes mountain tops and thrown rocks. She discusses the surreal contrast of city life with the silence of the Arctic. Some of these explorations into sound are covered here in an interview staged in early September 2015, with recordings and sketches further developed for an exhibition curated by Thora at the Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival in Xiamen in November 2015.
Thora Dolven Balke (b. 1982 Norway) lives and works between North Norway, London and Berlin and has exhibited extensively in Norway and internationally. Her work is an exploration of image and sound-making through her own artistic practice, as well as through the organisation of artistic and curatorial platforms that contribute to the development of other artists’ work, in connection with other cultural forms, such as music and performance. Her photographs, in the form of Polaroids as well as films, suggest a diaristic, subjective approach to image making that refuses to disclose the level of fiction they contain. The photographic works and their sculptural counterparts focus on the mechanical and human aspects to image making and the ongoing conflict of trying to reconcile the two. Dolven Balke was one of two curators of the biennale Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF) in 2011 and co-funded and programmed the artist-run space REKORD in Oslo from 2006 to 2010.
Ludo Sounds is an ongoing podcast series that focuses on female contemporary sound artists, composers and technicians through interviews, discussions and listening to new work. Committed to showcasing artists, the series’ aim is to foster the existing network of women working within this field and celebrate their work whilst being mindful of ‘essentializing’ female output.
Part of this focus is on collaboration and learning together –concentrating on the playfulness of experimentation in sound. The first episodes are in collaboration with Entrée and focuses on Norwegian artists, whilst new episodes are currently in production with artists from New York, Tokyo, Sydney and Berlin. Please follow Ludo Sounds webpage for news on upcoming episodes.