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Uta Kögelsberger - Rock Concerts

An extended practice-based research project exploring humankind’s complex relationship with the natural world

Musicians performing with colourful sculptures

The Rock Concerts is a key output from The Weather Works, an extended practice-based research project (2014-20) that brought together video installation, sculpture, performance, experimental sound and new technologies. At its core was an exploration of humankind’s complex relationship with the natural world through creative engagements focused on affective impact.

The early stages of the research were carried out during a commission by the Cumbria Museum Consortium and culminated in solo exhibitions at Abbot Hall, Wordsworth Trust and Tullie House Museum (2015). The research situated itself in response to two aspects of the Lake District represented in the museum’s collections: In the first instance, the region as an epitome of conceptions of the picturesque. Kögelsberger responded by looking for alternative ways of understanding the landscape - literally going beneath the surface of the earth, to reveal its longstanding history of industrial exploitation.

Secondly the research took the impact of climate change in North West England as manifested through the increase in rainfall as the starting point to develop a non-representational understanding of landscape, questioning modes of representation that re-enforce established hierarchies of perceiving the natural world, by introducing elements such as chance, and non-human centric perspectives.

Art gallery with video projection

A key output from the initial research were sound recordings gathered by Kögelsberger in a disused mine during heavy rainfall. These became the basis for expanding the research into new cross-disciplinary and collaborative engagements developed in contexts beyond Cumbria. The three-stage ‘The Rock Concerts’ (Art Night, London (2017) and Boiler House Newcastle (2018); were sculptural installations, with multi-channel sound and live performance, culminating in an amplified reality live-interactive work staged at the Albany Theatre London (2020).

Throughout its stages of development, the research was funded by the Cumbria Museum Consortium, Arts Council England and English Heritage; Newcastle University; Goldsmith’s University.


Download project PDF: Uta Kogelsberger - Rock Concerts (4.5MB)

Church interior with colourful sculptures