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KKTO

About

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

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.
13.–14. May, 2021I am sitting in a room: Alvin Lucier’s 90th Birthday Celebration
Stream | Issue Project Room, New York City, USA
Two contributions to celebrations of Alvin Lucier’s ninetieth birthday presented by Issue Project Room, in which ninety artists were invited to contribute recordings of I am sitting in a room. The event was previewed in an article by Kerry O’Brien in the New York Times.
7.–13. September, 2020Alluvium
Installation-performance | Ponderosa Unfestival 2020, Stolzenhagen, Germany
Week-long subterranean installation-performance.

View full curriculum vitae and event archive »

Signal Tide
Minute/Year at Lely, Amsterdam
Increments
Accompanied Walk, Wesleyan University, Connecticut, 23.02.2017
1–100, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 29. October 2017
Harvest
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
Harvest
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Recent media, interviews, audio, press, and other items:

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).

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.
20. May, 2019Space tone
Interview | Lynn Kühl | gallerytalk.net

Interview about Minute/Year, in German.

Seit bereits vier Jahren nehmen die Künstler Kata Kovács und Tom O’Doherty täglich für die Installation Minute/Year eine Minute lang den Sound im Raum auf. Das künstlerische Experiment erschließt akustische Basisnoten, die Räume unterscheiden können. Ob diese Klänge wohl auch die Atmosphäre von Orten verändern?

View all media items »

Recent texts, articles, essays, and talks:

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.
19. September, 2017Whispers from Space
Joel Ferree | Blog post | LACMA Unframed blog, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Post on LACMA’s Unframed blog by Joel Ferree (Program Director, Art + Technology Lab, LACMA), coinciding with the presentation of Signal Tide in September 2017.
In developing their ‘response’ to the satellite’s ‘call’, Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty looked into the regional tradition of sacred harp singing, a type of choral music that traces its roots back to 18th-century New England. “The LES-1 satellite can be considered, anthropomorphically, as a weary pilgrim on a repeating journey, having left Boston in 1965 and travelled ever since,” the artists explain. “Signal Tide will allow the satellite to be serenaded with music derived from the place that it is originally from.”

View all texts, articles, essays, and talks »