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Salmon People

Immerse yourself in a salmon world in this video-sound installation.

Salmon People considers the shared ecologies of nonhuman and human animals through videos of the survivors of the salmon cycle of life, combined with videos of the Surrey landscape taken from the surrounding waters of the Fraser River.

The salmon shown in the project swam for three to four years, making a counter-clockwise circular migration around the northern Pacific Ocean, returning to their natal stream or river—such as the Fraser River— where they then travelled 40 to 90 miles a day to their spawning grounds. Salmon find their way back to their birthplace as individuals, and they find their particular birth-stream using scent and other perceptional modes.

The project presents a below-water point of view, a realm normally unavailable to human eyes. Nonhuman, human, recorded, and synthesized sounds make up the sonic field that suggests a strange yet familiar world. Salmon People presents a recombinant video-audio panorama, a constantly changing land-sea-scape, signaling the intertwined worlds of humans and nonhuman beings.

Production Team: Julie Andreyev (concept and editing), Simon Lysander Overstall (custom software and sound design), Paolo Pennutti in collaboration with Elisa Ferrari (salmon cinematography), Jonathan Nunes (Surrey cinematography)

This project was made possible through the GRAND AD-NODE Project Fund, Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Salmon People is accompanied by an essay by Carol Gigliotti, as part of our Surrey Art Gallery Presents series. Carol Gigliotti is a writer, scholar, and activist. She is the editor of Leonardo's Choice: Genetic Technologies and Animals and has authored numerous book chapters and essays on animals and humans' interaction with them.

About the Artists

Julie Andreyev

Julie Andreyev is an artist, vegan, researcher, and educator. Andreyev’s art practice, called Animal Lover, examines animal agency and creativity using modes of interspecies collaboration and relational ontologies. The projects take the form of new media performance, video and sound installation, and relational aesthetics. The Animal Lover projects have been shown across Canada, USA, Europe, and Asia, and are supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Andreyev is Artistic Director of a biannual symposium/exhibition called Interactive Futures. She is co-founder of the art group Vegan Congress. Andreyev is a Joseph Armand Bombardier Scholar completing her PhD research at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. The research examines means for improved awareness and relationships with nonhuman beings and our shared ecologies.

Simon Lysander Overstall

Simon Lysander Overstall is a computational artist working primarily with sound and music, although he also works with visual materials. He develops works with generative, interactive, or performative elements. He produces interactive performance systems and art installations which have been shown in Canada, USA, Europe, and China. He has a BFA in Music Composition from the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. Currently he is completing an MA in Sound In New Media at Media Lab Helsinki, Aalto University, Finland.

Curator: Alison Rajah
Origin of Exhibition: Surrey Art Gallery

Feature image credit: Julie Andreyev and Simon Lysander Overstall, Salmon People, 2015. Photo by Blaine Campbell.

Below: Stills from Julie Andreyev and Simon Lysander Overstall’s Salmon People (2015), courtesy of the artists.