J A C O B  K I R K E G A A R D

E U S T A C H I A  f o r  1 8  E A R S

Installation. 30-minute composition from spontaneous otoacoustic emissions
Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh, USA
Jacob Kirkegaard © 2019

Sound installation composed from tones emitted by the cochlea of the inner ear

These faint but constant and crystal clear acoustic tones, called spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (or SOAE), are produced - without external stimulation - by the ears of only some people. Whereas the combinations of tones emitted from one ear can be dissonant and microtonal, tones emitted from another ear can be almost harmonic. Each emitting ear produces something akin to an acoustic fingerprint. Recorded and amplified by Jacob Kirkegaard, this work is based on a selection of 9 people where both ears emit their own unique SOAEs simultaneously. The blood-red textile shaped installation is designed as two imaginary cochleas representing the left and right ear of a person who’s ears emit SOAEs. At the center of each cochlea a parabolic speaker reveals the tones from their left and right ear respectively. Eustachia – For 18 Ears is an immersive and intimate listening inner-space into an otherwise unheard chamber of our very ears. Into the reversed and paradoxical act of listening to the sound of the ears themselves.

"Kirkegaard has countered Duchamp’s dictum, One can look at seeing, one can’t hear hearing." Douglas Kahn, Earside Out, 2014

Thanks to Prof. Christopher Shera

Jacob Kirkegaard © 2019