Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty


We are Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty. We have worked as a collaborative duo since 2011; we live and work in Berlin, Germany.

Our work combines elements of durational and time-based art, minimalist movement, and electroacoustic music and sound. We are interested in processes, sounds, and movements that come close to imperceptibility, and the ways in which this material can be transformed through repetition, patterning, layering, and archiving.

We have exhibited and presented work at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Serralves Museum, Porto; National Museum of Contemporary Art (Chiado), Lisbon; Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin; Kunstkraftwerk, Leipzig; and Digital in Berlin’s Kiezsalon series, Berlin, among others. We have been recipients of the LACMA Art + Technology Award, and of the Projektförderung and Stipendienprogramm grants of the Musikfonds in Berlin.

Elsewhere online:

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Other things:
Minute/Year · Repatterning · Images
Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty
Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty
Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty
Presenting 1–100
With Minute/Year (Spectrograms 2019)
Presenting Increments
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Recent events:

5.–7. September, 2023Sound Campus
Sound-art festival | Ars Electronica and Kunstuniversität Linz, Linz, Austria
Excerpts from Minute/Year are included in Sound Campus, a sound-art festival co-presented by Ars Electronica and Kunstuniversität Linz. Full details available here.
16.–21. June 2023Minute/Year: Seven Years
Exhibition | Halfsister, Berlin, Germany
Exhibition presenting the archive of recordings and images generated by Minute/Year from 2016 to 2022. Full details are available here.
25. September, 2021 Harvest
Performance | Görlitzer Park, Berlin, Germany
Site-specific performance presented as part of the Sound→Walk→Berlin series of events.
3. September, 2021 Listening Back: Minute/Year 2020
Talk with accompanying performances | bb15, Linz, Austria
Presenting a talk, ‘Nine Streaks,’ about Minute/Year at bb15 in 2020. The event was also the release event for the tape, Minute/Year 2020, compiled and curated by Gabriela Gordillo and Sebastian Six from the recordings generated by Minute/Year throughout 2020. The event also featured live sets by Błażej Kotowski and Daphne Xanthopoulou.
22.–29. May, 2021Carried Bells (Daily Walks)
Live-stream | Hošek Contemporary, Berlin, Germany
Presenting Carried Bells (Daily Walks), a video work, as a live-stream on the Hošek Contemporary website.

View full curriculum vitae and event archive »

Signal Tide
Minute/Year at Lely, Amsterdam
Accompanied Walk, Wesleyan University, Connecticut, 23.02.2017
1–100, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 29. October 2017
Signal Tide at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, September 2017 | More »
Minute/Year at Lely, Amsterdam, January 2022 | More »
Increments at Kunstkraftwerk, Leipzig, April 2016 | More »
Accompanied Walk, Wesleyan University, Connecticut, USA, February 2017 | More »
1–100, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 29. October 2017
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Recent media, interviews, audio, press, and other items:

16. June, 2023Minute/Year: Seven Years
Book | Various authors

The accompanying book for the exhibition Minute/Year: Seven Years, with excerpts from texts by Agnė Auželytė, Annika Haas, Ana and Sophia Tabatadze, Gabriela Gordillo, Kassandra Valencia, and Jasmina Al-Qaisi.

The works in the exhibition Minute/Year: Seven Years present excerpts from the archive generated by Minute/Year. However, beyond simply displaying serial remnants of a larger whole, they also attempt to reinterpret and reimagine this corpus in their own right. This archive can be considered as an incrementing accumulation of ghostly fragments. Through its sheer duration and magnitude, it resists attempts at direct observation. As such, any attempted excerpt is also a betrayal of the whole — a view that is more a glimpse than a gaze.

These works attempt to incorporate this paradoxical sensibility. The screen-printed works, for example, reveal, in their slight analogue imprecisions, the inevitable ambiguity that accompanies all hand-made retracings of the digital. The implicit drag and friction of the palimpsest is present, creating not so much a copy as an echo, a trace, a dub. In doing so, they reinforce the layered and recursive logic of
Minute/Year as a whole, itself eternally repeating one day into the next.

Ana and Sophia Tabatadze · Curators, Halfsister Berlin · From the essay Minute/Year: Seven Years (April 2023)
3. September, 2021Minute/Year (2020)
Cassette | bb15

Limited-edition cassette released by bb15, created by Gabriela Gordillo and Sebastian Six. The tape is a sound collage of excerpts from the recordings made by Minute/Year throughout 2020, during the time when the work was installed in bb15. See full details here (including cover artwork images, launch event details, and full credits).

Minute/Year 2020 by Various
During this period, incidental events and collaborations around the work took place at the gallery space, contributing to its layered archive of hums and drones. Listening back to these recordings, we discover a narrative of this passing time, that like memory, re-arranges into multiple readings.
28. May, 2020Signal Tide — Two Passes
Mix | Joel Ferree | Los Angeles County Museum of Art

This mix was commissioned by Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as part of the LACMA@home series, and features a stereo iteration of the music used in the installation work Signal Tide. The mix is a collaboration with David Bryant and Drew Barnet. Full details and credits are available here.

28. May, 2020Signal Tide Companion — An Interview with the Artists
Interview | Joel Ferree | Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Interview, by Joel Ferree (Program Director, Art + Technology Lab, LACMA) about Signal Tide, accompanying the release of Signal Tide — Two Passes.

“[The LES-1] is a piece of space junk, that nonetheless seemed like it could be regarded poetically or metaphorically […] over time we honed this idea, based around this central point of a lonely traveller that has been orbiting the earth for many decades.”
30. November, 2019Tagesspiegel Checkpoint
Preview article | Thomas Wochnik | 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.

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Recent texts, articles, essays, and talks:

15. September, 2022Looking at the moon, twice
Gabriela Gordillo | Essay | Coven Berlin
A poetic essay by Gabriela Gordillo, on the threads of connection between Minute/Year and her father’s practice of taking photographs of the moon.
Both the moon and Minute/Year are part of other rhythms outside of themselves. The moon orchestrates tides, magnetic fields, and menstrual cycles; it visits many nights around the globe every twenty-four hours. Minute/Year listens to the sounds of nature, to urban environments, to indecipherable human language and humming machines. It computes from a Raspberry Pi, synchronizes with the internet, with digital platforms and with power supplies.
8. July, 2020El 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, 2020Signal 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.
20. May, 2019Seize the Minute
Annika Haas | Critical essay | Exhibition text, grüntaler9, Berlin
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. September 2019Reach 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.

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