The Art of Listening: Under Water utilises the platform of Art Basel in Miami Beach, December 4-8, to bring awareness to the ocean’s increasingly fragile ecosystem and to how environmental concerns are localised within this seaside community. Winderen uses sounds recorded in the Miami harbour area, the Barents Sea and the Tropical Oceans to expose the constant underwater presence of human-created sound today. Made with long-time collaborator Tony Myatt, Winderen’s work collages local sounds in an immersive 22 audio-channel installation within the minimalist setting of the Collins Park Rotunda.


Winderen has been making underwater recordings since 2005, principally using highly sensitive hydrophones to give access to environmental conditions largely inaccessible to the human ear. Since the beginning of her career, Winderen has carefully listened to how fish, crustaceans and mammals use sound to communicate orient and meet across the oceans of the world. As sound travels almost five times faster underwater than in air, water is an excellent medium for sound communication. Winderen’s compositions capture complex biodiversity, often pointing to the pressing environmental issues we may be less aware of because we cannot see them directly.


As Winderen explains, her work is a careful reflection on the environment: “When I make recordings in the environment, I record the whole ecosystem with the animals in it. When I am installing the sound piece, I work with the space as it is and not against it.”


Audemars Piguet invited Winderen to visit the Vallée de Joux in early 2019 for a two-part brief residency which resulted in the creation of Winderen’s first site-specific commission for Audemars Piguet, Du Petit Risoud aux profondeurs du Lac de Joux, which visitors in Miami Beach can experience with headsets in the Manufacture’s Lounge at the show. This work, first unveiled during Art Basel in Basel (June 2019), immerses visitors acoustically in the Vallée de Joux’s unique ecosystem by combining inescapable sound of civilisation travelling through the forest and land into the water of the Lac de Joux.


Additionally, the Manufacture’s Lounge created by Fernando Mastrangelo and first unveiled at Art Basel in Hong Kong (March 2019) will continue its evolution in Miami Beach this December. Known for his evocative sculptural designs which comprise everyday materials such as salt, sand and cement, Mastrangelo has designed a lounge which invites visitors to experience the Vallée de Joux through seamless gradients of tones and textures, with walls, display cases and furniture made of crushed boulders from the Swiss Jura Mountains. Elements from the new collection, Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet, are highlighted throughout.

From the Vallée de Joux to Miami Beach, Winderen’s works encourage visitors to consider their engagement with the environment and its creatures, locally and globally. In this respect, Winderen’s research parallels the work of the Audemars Piguet Foundation, which has been contributing to worldwide forest conservation through environmental protection and youth awareness-raising programmes since 1992.


Susan Simmons, Audemars Piguet Foundation’s General Secretary will join Jana Winderen and Audemars Piguet Associate Curator Denis Pernet for a private press walk-through of The Art of Listening: Under Water on December 3 at 11am.