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Inki announces augmented reality book and album project

By | Published on Wednesday 24 March 2021


Icelandic composer Inki is set to release a new project titled ‘Quite The Situation’ next month, comprising an album, a book and some augmented reality visuals.

The project looks at misogyny and the treatment of female sexuality in 1940s Iceland to ask the central question, “How will we see the current conversation about female sexuality 80 years from now?”

Based on articles from and letters to newspapers from between 1940 and 1945, Inki explores what is known in Icelandic history as ‘The Situation’. During World War Two, 30,000 British and American soldiers were stationed in the country, more than doubling the population of capital city Reykjavík. Some local women entered into relationships with these soldiers, but were harshly criticised by other members of the public for doing so.

‘The Situation’ refers more specifically to a period of civilian espionage, which saw members of the public contributing to a police report on 500 women and their relationships (alleged or otherwise) with soldiers. As it continued, due to the pressure of public disapproval, women were forced to give up children for adoption, while others were exiled from their communities and sent to live in purpose built homes in the countryside.

Both the album and the book are written to follow the same structure and flow. They are brought together by augmented reality app Artivive. When the app is pointed (via a mobile device’s camera) at the book, it will play the music composed to accompany it, while sentences from the book appear to lift off the page.

“I feel each medium and the technology aspects of this piece add a new perspective”, says Inki. “I’m so tuned into being a composer that I think that practice has a lot of effect on how I go about creating. Composing is all about events on a timeline, so even the book work – that usually would be seen as static object – has transformed into something that lives, breathes and interacts with whoever picks it up”.

Actually composing music to work in this way proved something of a challenge though, she adds, with recording sessions in 2019 far from the end of the process. “I recorded each of the musicians individually, so I could keep on composing from the material post-recording”, she explains. “Puzzling it together was total hell but I believe it has a lot of effect on the final music”.

The complete project will be available on 30 Apr, and you can watch a short video about the whole thing here. There are also plans to turn the project into an installation for Reykjavik Arts Festival later in the year, pandemic permitting. Meanwhile, the title track is out now. Listen to that here: