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.
|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, 2021||Carried 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, 2021||I 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, 2020||Alluvium |
Installation-performance | Ponderosa Unfestival 2020, Stolzenhagen, Germany
Week-long subterranean installation-performance.
Recent media, interviews, audio, press, and other items:
|3. September, 2021||Minute/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, 2020||Signal 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, 2020||Signal 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, 2019||Tagesspiegel 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, 2019||Space 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?
Recent texts, articles, essays, and talks:
|15. September, 2022||Looking 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, 2020||El 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, 2020||Signal 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, 2019||Seize 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 2019||Reach 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.