Tris Vonna-Michell’s exhibition at Jan Mot Wasteful Illuminations: Distracted Listening consists of a multi-track soundwork, aquariums and inkjet prints. The soundwork began in 2008, originating from field-recordings made in Japan. The field-recordings were edited and transcribed into a score for producing a compilation of speech-based audio poems.

The short-duration audio poems evolved into one sound composition; a phonetic travelogue of transient spaces encountered in Japan during the summer of 2008. The majority of the field-recordings were made nocturnally and in and around specifically chosen spaces and enclosures. Underpasses, park life, viaducts, benches, beaches, insects, foliage, water fixtures, railway tracks, stations, cubicles, alleyways, shafts, ponds, pools, pleasure domes, vending aisles, slot machines, shopping arcades, docks, boats, bamboo blinds, road sweepers, shuttle rails, wash rooms, waiting lounges, lobbies, phone booths – these were the main sources for composing the score and subsequent sound composition; a combination of Japanese and English speech utterances and rhythmic audio poems.

Tris Vonna-Michell (b. 1982, United Kingdom) lives and works in Stockholm. He stages installations and performs narrative structures, using spoken word, sound compositions, and photography. Through live performances and installations, Vonna-Michell creates circuitous, multilayered narratives, characterized by fragments of information, detours, and repetitions. Together with Diana Kaur he runs Mount Analogue, a publishing, curatorial, and editorial space in Stockholm. Recent solo exhibitions include: Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver (2015); Turner Prize 2014, Tate Britain, London; VOX, Centre de l’image contemporaine, Montreal (2014); Postscript II (Berlin), Jan Mot, Brussels (2013); and Finding Chopin: Endnotes, Jeu de Paume, Paris (2009). Recent group exhibitions include: The Day will come when Photography revises, Kunstverein, Hamburg (2015); Society Acts - The Moderna Exhibition 2014, Moderna Museet, Malmö; Un Nouveau Festival, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2014); Reactivation, 9th Shanghai Biennia (2012); Manifesta 8, Murcia (2010); and the Younger Than Jesus Triennial, the New Museum, New York (2009).