The Embassy Reconstructed

Jacob Kirkegaard | BANDERA # 2

(the Auditorium, Felleshus)


The entrance to the Nordic embassies in Berlin is adorned by five large flag poles that carry the flags of the five Scandinavian countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. As a visual representation of a nation, a flag may inspire patriotic pride - or just the opposite. Beneath the superficial image of each nation there exists a set of "national" characteristics that is much more complex, diverse, and flexible than could ever be expressed by a visual representation such as a flag. Jacob Kirkegaard decided to listen more closely to these hidden "undertones" by listening to the different flag poles. He placed a vibration sensor on the iron wires carrying the flags and recorded the resonant frequency. The sounds reveal that each flag, like each nation, has its own complex layers and a distinct way to "wave".



Jacob Kirkegaard is a Danish artist focusing on scientific & aesthetic aspects of resonance, time, sound & hearing. His installations, compositions & performances deal with acoustic spaces or phenomena that usually remain imperceptible. Using unorthodox methods for recording, Kirkegaard captures and contextualizes hitherto unheard sounds from within a variety of environments: a geyser, a sand dune, a nuclear power plant, an empty room, a TV tower, and even sounds from the human inner ear itself. 
Based in Berlin, Kirkegaard is a graduate of the Academy for Media Arts in Cologne, Germany. Since 1995, Kirkegaard has presented his works at exhibitions and at festivals and conferences throughout the world. He has released five albums (mostly on the British label Touch) and is a member of the sound art collective freq_out.