The Intimate Earthquake Archive (2016)


Changes to our environment are often invisible or trapped in complex data; hyper-objects such as the climate crisis are impossible to grasp. However through sensory experiences the unseen can become tangible and experienceable; we can engage with our environment on a deeper level. Such sensory experiences highlight the reciprocal relationship between body and environment, ushering forth a deeper understanding of our changing environment, as well as ourselves. 

The Intimate Earthquake Archive aims to connect the digitized seismic activity with the sensing body. Visitors can explore the archive by positioning themselves among a series of radio-transmitting core samples. Each of them transmits the dataset of one of the 12 strongest man-made earthquakes recorded in Groningen. Wearable ‘interfaces’ act as receivers for these signals, producing a composition of tremors on the surface of the body – in the same way the seismic waves moved across the land.

These vibratory compositions are created by artist Jonathan Reus, through direct manipulation of the archival datasets into sonic vibrations. The resulting compositions are intended to inspire „deep listening“ within the body. The Intimate Earthquake Archive is thus a kind of test ground for the visitor to attune herself to a future marked by man-made geological change.


About the artist

Sissel Marie Tonn (DK/NL) is a Danish artist based in The Hague. She is the co-founder of the initiative Platform for Thought in Motion together with artist and frequent collaborator Jonathan Reus. Together with Flora Reznik they arrange reading groups and other events in The Hague, engaging artists with scholars in a mutual exchange of knowledge. She completed a master in Artistic Research at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in 2015. In 2016 she was the recipient of the Theodora Niemeijer prize for emerging female artists and in 2017 she was admitted to the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht.

Jonathan Reus (US/NL) is a musician, educator and researcher in the field of electronic music instruments, sonic interaction design and critical computing. His artistic work deals primarily with themes relating to computing culture, software and the capacities of mathematical-logistical systems to capture and represent the world. Musical performance is, for him, a method and means of being material. Together with Sissel Marie Tonn, he is one half of Sensory Cartographies, an artistic project that speculates on new forms of mapping through wearable technologies and techniques of observation and augmented attention.

This is a premiere of a new iteration of this installation, which was initially created in 2016. The Intimate Earthquake is presented in collaboration with Warming Up Festival and Tolhuistuin. Visiting days: FIBER Festival from Sept 24-27/9 in the garden of Tolhuistuin. Afterwards it’s part of Warming Up Festival
(Oct 12-22).



Credit: Photo: Stella Dekker