Wild Learning – Rhythmanalysis

Our fourth installment of Wild Learning featured artist and filmmaker Jenny Holt’s technological yet deeply human approach to the world around her. First, we learned the significance of the workshop’s title, Rhythmanalysis and the conversation to be had “between us, the forest, and the means of capture we use.”

In addition to her own work, Jenny presented the work of artists Richard Long, Chris Welby and Hildegard Westerkemp for discussion. Hildegard Westerkamp’s work Soundwalk was of particular interest:

“Lead your ears away from your own sounds and listen to the sounds nearby.
What do you hear?
Can you detect
Interesting rhythms
Regular beats
The highest
The lowest pitch.”

Armed with those words and a variety of sound recorders, the group moved out into the forest, both capturing and interacting with the sounds of insects, flora and fauna, and unexpected human-engineered sounds of electricity and the nearest road. After a hearty lunch, this conversation continued, this time with the inclusion of video recording equipment. We concluded naturally with a crash course in editing, each participant constructing their own unique documentation of the rhythms of the day.

Jenny Holt is interested in the dialogue between place-based rhythms of everyday life and processes of film practice; the tension between the bounded frame as a world of vision and dynamic senses of place. Her recent work has focused on the North of England, investigating connections between people, cultures and the landscapes we dwell in, developing methods of film practice in dialogue with synergies of human-centred senses, concepts and contradictions of place.

Fermynwoods and Animate Projects have commissioned Jenny Holt to WORK in Thrapston, exploring tensions between the town as a historically rural, farming community and its recent development as a site for internationally-networked distribution hubs, examining the impact of this on rural landscapes and lives.

A short sequence of edited content by a workshop participant.

Rhythmanalysis is a continuation of the Outdoor Institute of Art, a two-year programme conceived by Yasmin Canvin and run by Fermynwoods Contemporary Art. The Outdoor Institute is an alternative art school with discussions, skills and knowledge sharing events between artists, experts in relevant fields, the arts sector and members of the public.