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Halla Steinunn

Halla Steinunn Stefansdottir

Doctoral student

Halla Steinunn

The Activation Series


  • Halla Steinunn Stefansdottir

Summary, in English

This presentation discusses the development of the ‘The Activation Series’. Initiated in winter 2016-2017 this artistic method has led to the creation of the 5.1 surround sound installation 'I play Northern Lights' and the audio and video installation 'I play cement'. A third work is in progress in collaboration with Anders Hultqvist, Stefan Östersjö and Gunnar D. Hansson, with the first output premiered at GAS festival in Sweden in autumn 2018 and a larger work set for premiere in 2019.

The Activation Series falls under my PhD research which draws on exploration of agency, and the dynamics between the practices of performer, composer and curator in the field of contemporary music and sound art. Through various case studies I look at how an ecological perspective on musical practice can challenge current understanding of aforementioned agencies and what artistic methods can be employed to explore a fluid understanding of these roles. Furthermore; what possibilities does this technology hold when it comes to politics of listening and scholarship of ‘care’?

The Activation Series unites my agency as composer, curator and performer and links to the usage of field-recording as a methodological tool. It brings a performer’s thinking-through- listening (Östersjö, 2018) into different environments in order to explore ‘whether new aspects of the environment’s structure can be revealed’ (Stefánsdóttir & Östersjö, forthcoming). The Activation Series is therefore an example of hybrid methodologies, as it looks at the musician’s role in exploration of environment, and thus questions her role in connection with society and tradition. The material outcomes can be understood as eco-systemic art, a field which holds a potential of prompting different understandings of the relation between artist and artwork, and hopefully also between the human and the natural environment.


  • Teachers (Malmö Academy of Music)

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper


  • Music