Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art
Christine Ödlund. Stress Call of the Stinging Nettle; Musical score, 2008.
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Stress Call of the Stinging Nettle references both educational botanical illustrations and amateur watercolour studies of nature. It is a work based on Ödlund's observations of the chemical activity within a population of stinging nettles while butterfly larvae are feeding on one of their group. She compiled measurements taken at different times during this attack, constructed a score, and placed all of the data along its timeline so that a day in reality was equivalent to a minute of music. She then smelled a concentrated form of every individual substance emitted by the plants, and gave to each scent a description, a corresponding colour and an acoustic profile. Ödlund's goal is to immerse herself in her subject and thereby create work in which she can combine her interest in the natural sciences with music, while at the same time questioning the possibility of bridging the language barrier between humans and plants.