Janneke van der Putten

omgeving - performance

Janneke van der Putten is a visual artist and performer based in Rotterdam since 2009. Her voice is her main tool, guiding her through physical and sonic explorations in different landscapes. Engaging with specific sites and local contexts, she investigates (human) responses to her surroundings, and their relation to natural phenomena, such as the sunrise. Her work results in performances, paintings, video, sound, installations, textiles and workshops.

Van der Putten has been presenting her work internationally and holds a BA from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam, 2009) and a MA from the Royal Academy of Arts; Royal Conservartory (The Hague, 2013). She is part of Collective Aloardi (Lima, Peru) since 2014 and in 2017 she initiated Foundation Idraola, producing multidisciplinary projects and cultural exchanges. She has been a selected artist-in-residence and fellow at a.o. Centre international d'art et du paysage (Vassivière, 2014) and Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart, 2019).

[to] - **** NOTE for the video preview: make sure the volume is on in the Vimeo player, using the arrow keys right below the screen **** Video, stereo sound, 10'29'', 2020. The video is a compilation of material from the past years, recorded during interventions in places with special energy: related to the earth, astronomy, my personal life and connections to my matriarchal family line. It is made to celebrate and recognise our interconnectivity, in memory of walks, conversations, songs and dances with people I met and started collaborating with. It features the soundtrack from the Peruvian composer Chrs Galarreta with whom I work with since 2013. It is recorded in Stuttgart’s oldest waterreservoir and includes field recordings of my voice modulated by the architecture, where the strongly echoing sounds give an underwater sensation while merging with the atmospheric moving images.
Voice and Space - Workshop, performance, 2015 – 2018. In this workshop the participants explored the voice in relation to a spatial experience, discovering the acoustics and choreographical possibilities within different architectures. Engaging in longer temporalities, loosing the notion of chronological time, the group presented a final performance in the entrance hall of the museum. The distance between the mirroring glass of the entrance hall and the group of screamers grew as they slowly approached the audience.
Sonorous Breathing - Performance, 20', 2019 - 2022. Performance on a trampoline where the returning physical movement, in endurance and tiredness, shapes the breath and the vocal sound. It is a development of lightness and heaviness: finding a language and distancing myself from it again. It expresses a vital insistence, bouncing body on the bouncing surface, making sounds more than techniques, in a constant slowly changing transformation. The trampoline sport crosses the art of singing, where their conventional modus is denaturalised. Something as simple as breathing is liberated in a time where it is restricted due to current global health measures. Singing is brought back to its primitive essence of profound sounds and rhythms, proceeding body movement and breathing. I wear a gala dress, which forms a contrast to practising the trampoline. Both activities are deconstructed from their sophisticated to bestial essence. The work evokes differents aspects of femininity to masculinity and sexuality, from the banal to the absurd and grotesque. It is performed in an online streaming format, in a darkened space where the dress’ glitters are illuminated, reflecting and move as water sparkles.
All Begins With A: inspired by the SUNRISE - **** NOTE for the video preview: make sure the volume is on in the Vimeo player, using the arrow keys right below the screen **** Digital photographs, interventions in public space, listening journal, compositions, digital film: stereo audio, 15’42’’, 2014. 
All living beings experience the cyclic movement of night transitioning to day, and of day returning to night, as an existential rhythm. Humans have mirrored this rhythm through the practice of walking or travelling in circles, embodying the movements of the stars and celestial vault. I have come to experience the breath, and implicitly the expired vocal sound, as the same kind of effortless cycle, without intention – thus the relation between the body, position, and cosmological elements such as the sunrise are central to my artistic practice. For one month I documented my daily walking, listening and singing around the island of Vassivière. Getting up for the morning twilight, and the experience of shorter and longer days, informs an awareness of the cyclical nature of time in relation to the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon.
Directed to the Sun - **** NOTE for the video preview: make sure the volume is on in the Vimeo player, using the arrow keys right below the screen **** Video, stereo audio and digital film, 18’58”; woven textile; 2015. Directed to the Sun investigates how humans can celebrate and relate to specific sites and during moments dedicated to cosmological elements. I consider the sunlight as a fundamental phenomenon, and I am interested in the solstice and its effects on the human body. The solstice is a day in the year that posits a point of no return: when time changes direction and the days become shorter or longer. On the solstice of 21th December 2014, I travelled to the sun clock of Chanquillo and to the desert in the North of Lima, Peru. Together with collective Aloardi and the local guide Richard Isidro Durand Roque we made interventions in the landscape, by letting the wind resonate with textile objects and my singing voice. I repeated the performance at the coast of Lima, together with the participants of the workshop ‘Voice and Space”.
Textile and Voice in the Landscape - Workshop, performance, 2019-2020. 
‘Voice and Textile in the Landscape’ questions notions of presence in space and celebration of the living. We explore the transmition and sharing of knowledge through actions that invite to (re)connect with our environment and ourselves. With our interventions in specific landscapes and sites, we acknowledge their presence and (re)evaluate our relation with their histories. Designed in a collective approach, we use the voice, fluid materials in textile (fabrics, thread, tape), the listening, the acoustics, walking, cosmological elements such as dawn and night to experiment the relation with time and space. After a theoretical introduction, through multiple experiences (endurance, perception, cyclical time, intuitive and processual approaches), performances are proposed in various urban and natural sites. The video displayed here is made with students at BEAR dept., ArtEZ, Arnhem, 2020.
Cycles: Overtones and Glottis Attack - Acoustic performance, duration ± 25’, 2017 – 2020. Using (self-taught) extended vocal techniques, I use my voice as an instrument. I explore different environments physically, sonically and intuitively for their potential as natural sonic amplifiers. Focussing on the space’s and body’s resonance in the here and now, the voice is a tool to engage with our surroundings. They respond with their acoustics and hidden sonic characteristics. 

The space also conditions where I can walk, with infrastructural elements such as a door, a wall, an open space. My circumambulation makes that the sound source (my voice) changes directions and travels in the space. It is an all-round immersive experience where the architecture performs and becomes an instrument too.
Invisible Architecture in a Tower - Part of the project 'Invisible Architecture' by Sajjra Xhrs Galarreta (composition) and Janneke van der Putten (voice) highlighting acoustic phenomena hidden in a space. Site-specific research, music publications, performance; 12 Inch LP; C30 Cassette. Listen here to 'Becoming-Siren', recorded at the Vassivière Island, France, 2014: https://chrsgalarretaprojects.bandcamp.com/album/invisible-architecture-3. In this first version of the project, subtle acoustic phenomena of a light-tower were explored through its surrounding sounds and the acoustic reflections of the human voice. Resonant frequencies and reverberations were emphasized and prolonged with the interaction of the human voice and the echo, making recordings with unconventional microphone techniques.
Quitsato - Hand-embroidered textile, 155 (l) x 85 (w) cm, metal tube, iron wire; 2017. ‘Quitsato’, meaning the Middle (Quitsa-) of the World (-to), refers to the ecuator passing over the mountains near Quito, Ecuador. Acknowledging its geo-astronomical significance, researcher Cristóbal Cobo proposes a solar-oriented representation of the world with the equator as central vertical line, the East on top and the North on the le side. The sun is the motor that drives all of life, and as it rises in the East everywhere on earth, it has been and continues to be an orientation point.
Landscape Acoustics and Voice - Workshop, performance, 2014 – 2017. Video beach: 3’06’’. Through listening sessions, a blind-folded sound walk and public space interventions we explore our senses and become more aware of our own body, movements and sounds. By walking, the acoustics of the landscape and distances between the singers and listeners make different echoes audible in the environment, where the earth relief modulates the sound. They explore the distances between each other walking and spread out. Until where can they hear each other and communicate through their echoes?