top of page

Island Eye Island Ear

1973 - 2023

In 1973 we traveled to Knavelskär in the Swedish Archipelago and made this map of the plans for Tudor’s antennas (blue arrows), Fujiko Nakaya’s fog sculpture areas, Jacqueline Matisse Monnier’s kites, and Margaretha Asberg’s dancers.

Drawing of the island

1973-4:   Sweden

1977-78: Upstate NY

1978:      St. Lawrence seaway U.S./Canada

2019:      Sweden 

2023:      Norway


David Tudor conceived an environmental concert Island Eye Island Ear, to be realized in collaboration with Fujiko Nakaya and Jacqueline Matisse, and choreographer, Margaretha Asberg which would reveal the nature of the island. Working in different media they planned to use technology to reveal the visual, sound and physical properties of the island. David Tudor would use parabolic antennas fed with sound to create discrete areas of sound; Nakaya would create fog sculptures in the different terrains of the island, Matisse’s kites would be flown from different vantage points on the island, and the dancers would also perform at many places on the island. The four artists would provide the visitors with an opportunity to explore and experience the variety and richness of nature on the island.


Extensive tests were made on Knavelskär Island in the Swedish archipelago. Tudor, Nakaya, and Asberg together with E.A.T. staff visited Knavelskär in the summer of 1974  and mapped the island, studied wind patterns, topography, fauna and other physical properties, and chose sound and fog and dance performance sites. They installed several sound and fog installations to test the sound and fog systems and flew samples of the kites.

A few years later, in 1978, Bluff Island and Boulder Island in Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains in northeastern New York State were researched as possible sites for the concert. E.A.T. staff, Tudor, Nakaya, Klüver and Fred Waldhauer visited the islands in Saranac Lake. They made contact with and enlisted the help of scientists and experts who conducted soil, vegetation, and water surveys and advised on the project design. Measures to protect the environment during public's visit -- chips, railings, bridges, choreographed walks were discussed as well as plans for safety, sanitation, traffic patterns, and local community and government involvement. Yohe Island in the St. Lawrence River, was also visited and studied as a possible site for the concert.The planning for the project described here took place from 1974 to 1979, and is yet to be realized.


In 2019 Swedish artist, Anna Lundh, whose work involves research on  historical art events, proposed to Julie Martin a visit to Knavelskär. They also invited sound artists, Jacob Kirkegaard and Tobias Kirstein. You Nakai, an artist and scholar of David Tudor’s work joined the group. Kirkegaard and Kirstein recorded sounds on the Island and made recordings mixing ambient sound with earlier Tudor recordings, while Lundh explored other aspects of the island and the history of the earlier project. The group made plans to explore ways of using the experience of being on the island to make work relevant to Tudor’s original idea.

New York State
bottom of page