Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty

About » Texts

Below are details of critical texts about our work, followed by details of artist talks and publications.

Texts, articles, essays:

15. September, 2022Looking at the moon, twice
Essay | Gabriela Gordillo

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
Essay | Kassandra Valencia

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
Blog post | Joel Ferree

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
Critical essay | Annika Haas

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
Article | Josie Thaddeus-Johns

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
Blog post | Joel Ferree

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.”

Artist talks and publications:

28. May, 2020Remote Voices
Essay | Copenhagen Architecture Festival

Article published by the Copenhagen Architecture Festival as part of their ‘corona essays’ series about covid-19 and the built environment. An account of Remote Voices, an intervention in Minute/Year organised by Gabriela Gordillo at bb15 in Linz, Austria.

15. November, 2019Daily traces: self-surveillance, human vestiges, and sound as memory
Conference talk | PARSE Research Conference

Talk given at the third biennial PARSE Research Conference, at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

12. August 2019Carried Bells
Artist talk | Ponderosa, Stolzenhagen

Artist talk about Carried Bells, given at Ponderosa, Stolzenhagen, Germany, in August 2019.

9. June, 2017Self-surveillance and Pervasive Data
Artist talk | Scope Sessions

As part of Scope Sessions #66.

19. Jan., 2017Minute/Year (2016)
Book | As part of the exhibition Minute/Year (2016)

Minute/Year (2016) is an artist’s book, compiling together a series of daily notes that were written throughout 2016, the first year that Minute/Year was active as an ongoing durational work. These notes, written as daily reflections on each day’s recording, give thoughts about these recordings, about the process as it developed, and about the implications of the work – artistically, socially, personally. The book presents every spectrogram image from the entire year, and accompanies each one with the thoughts that contextualise and explain it. This writing is sometimes diaristic, sometimes conceptual, sometimes whimsical. It represents an attempt to distill thoughts about the nature of this work as it emerged, during the first year in which it ran.