Project Summery

Why is there a "clicking" sound around the reindeers?
Reindeers make a distinct "clicking" sound by moving the tendons across a tiny additional bone structure in the lower part of their hinder legs.
I heard the sound some years ago and it has stayed with me. Asking scientists and researchers as well as experienced reindeer herders, they all could confirm the sound. Looking into various scientific fields searching for a possible entrance to the topic, I found more or less nothing explaining, why the reindeers created this "clicking"-sounds?

The reindeers and communication
Reindeers have highly developed sensory system and cognition skills e.g. memory, location and orientation. It is feasible that the "clicking" can be the mother reindeer (simles) way to call/communicate with her calf? Or the herds way of keeping the group gathered at night or in snowy weather using sound rather than their eyesight when it is impossible to see?

The art project, what will it become?
The artistic outcome will be an outdoor sound installation and in combination with some indoor sculptural elements. Solar panel and wind turbine secure the energy supply in a sustainable way and guarantee the show can be located almost anywhere outside.

Methods and collaborations
I will continue to establish collaboration and/or interaction with scientists and particular reindeer herders with their unique knowledge and experience with the reindeers, the landscapes and the local context. Their responses will have major impact on the examinations and understanding of the results and further developments.

Artist networks are evident in the project, for the exchange of ideas and experiences and exhibitions, workshops, talks etc. and to have them happen. "Changes on Northern Shores – Observing Problems through Art" is one new network group I have joined and find interesting to be part of.

Øystein Holand, professor at the Nordic Center of Excellence in Arctic Research/Ås referred me to Inge Even Danielsen, who is a major key person to me and the project. He is sami reindeer shepherd and an important voice within the Sami community. Thanks to him I´m able to visit the reindeers in Brekken.

NOTAM has been very helpful and lended me technical equipment such as field recorder etc. Later support from Visual Artist Fund made it possible for me to invest in own equipment. This allow me to work a lot more spontaneously, when joining the reindeer herds gatherings tree times a year.
Additional methods used are observations, conversations and interviews and will be documented in papers, photos, videos and sound recordings. Gained information and knowledge will determine how the project progresses, however the "clicking" will remain the focus point around which the project will spin.

Theories, complexity and my role
Theories and models serve a function primarily as inspiration, since I enjoy reading them but some can also work as an overall frame to examine and understand the complexity of the "the clicking". But an important part of why I engage in theoretical interest is concerned with a more critical view upon how the traditional western academic tradition works!

Anthropology is influencing my way of working and has been used to examine the Sami culture from different angles and the struggles the population encounter in the nordic countries.
Other related influences are the anthropocene but the project touches upon a variety of theoretical fields such as history, archeology, nature science (zoology, biology etc) as well as human and folklore sciences.

My position is "unclear" in the sense that I enter a dense cultural field undergoing huge challenges and changes - a complexity I recognize but also feel quite overwhelmed by and where my "role" is at question! Still, I hope by raising the reindeers voices the attention can be pointed towards this magnificent animal and the Sami culture.