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Swiss Haute Horlogerie Manufacture Audemars Piguet celebrated the unveiling of The Art of Listening: Under Water, a new public site-specific sound composition by Norwegian contemporary artist Jana Winderen during Art Basel in Miami Beach. Located in the Collins Park Rotunda, the installation brings awareness to the ocean’s increasingly fragile ecosystem and represents the artist’s most recent investigation on the environmental impact of human-created sounds on our planet. 

Audemars Piguet marked the celebration of the artwork’s debut in the Collins Park Rotunda with a private press walkthrough and intimate brunch. Led by Susan Simmons, Audemars Piguet Foundation’s General Secretary and Audemars Piguet Associate Curator Denis Pernet, the walkthrough provided guests with an inspiring insight into the Manufacture’s collaboration with Winderen and the latest resultant work, which was completed onsite in Miami by intermixing sounds from local waterways and undersea life. Visitors experienced the work first-hand by listening to the recorded sounds of the oceanic environment and reflecting on the ways in which human activity is constantly interfering with this delicate ecosystem. 

The composition discloses sounds specific to the Miami harbour area, the Barents Sea and the Tropical Oceans exposing the constant presence of human noise that pervades these oceanic environments. The work was produced in conjunction with long-time collaborator Tony Myatt and is free and open to the public throughout Miami Art Week.

The Art of Listening: Under Water bears strong resonance with a theme present in many of Audemars Piguet’s artistic projects, raising environmental awareness around the world. When asked about her interest in working beneath the surface of the water to source sounds for her compositions, Winderen replied: “I have always been drawn to the underwater environment since I was quite young. There is so much life and activity within it, almost all of which is entirely inaccessible to humans. Recording these sounds offers a way to understand the plants and animals beneath the ocean as well as how these life forms respond to the inescapable human activities which surround them. When you listen to the composition, it’s impossible to decipher the difference between the two, the natural and unnatural, which I hope brings pause and contemplation.”

Additionally, Audemars Piguet presented Du Petit Risoud aux profondeurs du Lac de Joux in this year’s Collectors Lounge at Art Basel in Miami Beach, Winderen’s first site-specific commission for Audemars Piguet which followed a two-part residency in the Vallée de Joux in early 2019. The work, which made its debut at Art Basel in Basel (June 2019), also examines the human impact on our environment, bringing listeners on a journey through the unique ecosystem of this remote valley by uncovering the heightened sound of civilisation heard throughout the surrounding forests and the depths of the Lac de Joux. 

The Lounge also represented the latest chapter in Fernando Mastrangelo’s collaboration with Audemars Piguet. Mastrangelo first unveiled his Lounge design during Art Basel in Hong Kong (March 2019), evolving the project for this year’s edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach by displaying bespoke furniture, design cases and walls inspired by the natural landscape of the Vallée de Joux, precisely crafted after his visit to this mountainous region.

Both Winderen’s and Mastrangelo’s commissioned works presented in Miami Beach provided viewers with intimate glimpses into the multitude of ways in which artists creatively interpret the world around us.


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