Polina Khatsenka

  • Belarus (b. 1992 in Minsk)
  • Currently in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic.
  • audiovisual artist, sound designer, music producer.


Sum up the main character of your work, your long-term interests, and themes.

An endless shift of focus is an undividable feature of my work. The direction of looking for my own, authentic language, with which I can truly contribute to any part of sonic scene (audio performance, sound design, artwork), is mutating together with every single piece i realize, expanding the range of questions and problematics I am capable of addressing, instead of closing them. I see artistic practice as a tool for discovering the world we live in, establishing hypotheses and verifying them with every new piece. I attempt to keep my ego behind the artwork, leaving the spectator with the possibility to build upon the basics of the arranged materials with their own experience. Though I am aware there is hardly a possibility of truly dividing ego from one‘s personality, I believe it is a perspective worth existing and applying. In terms of techniques, with which I try to implement it, I often let the spectator interfere with the work, interact with them and transform it. Electronics and computer-based techniques are almost an essential part of my work; an aleatoric approach is one more part that makes it possible to leave the work open to the final result. During the last five years I pay a close look to sound as a medium, with a focus on the fields of deep listening, diy and recycling electronics, electronic and electroacoustic music and spatial sound systems, which I believe are living their comeback to the artistic field through contemporary electronic music and sound art.

Describe the context of your work – what are your inspirational sources and theoretical starting points, which artists and tendencies do you consider as referential to your work.

I am endlessly inspired by sound as a medium in all its forms and aspects. Through studying the way it had to go through to become an established medium, to become a recognized source of the physical world, I am fulfilled with respect and astonishment to all the people, coincidences and mystery behind the process of revealing the nature of sound. Realizing the fact that the sound as an art technique is still a field that demands devotion, experiments and practice, bringing it to the contemporary contexts, giving the public a possibility and challenge to perceive a pure sound artwork with almost no visual stimuli, makes me curious to work in this field, verifying the ideas I myself have on how to do it on the basis of existing work. Does sound need to be visualized? How can a sound piece be exhibited in an art gallery together with other works without interfering with them, altering their message? Can sound artwork glue the exhibited pieces without losing its own significance? How is it possible to develop deep listening approaches within the framework of our globalized sonic society? Can sound be a tool for the minorities to be heard, or better, to be recognized as individuals which represent different perspectives, needs and truths? These are the questions that drive my work and make me look for the foundation on which I can build. I admire every sound pioneer, be it a composer, architect, sound designer, musician, artist, for their open mindedness and courage to go to the unseen and invest energy and time into bringing it to the public. It is through the word and work of Edgar Varese, Pierre Schaeffer, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pauline Oliveros, John Cage that I develop my own attitude to the contemporary contexts and possibilities.

Try to characterize what makes your work specific, wherein lies its force, what makes it different from the work of artists with similar approaches and themes.

In my work there is always visible fusion between technogenic approach, arising from the technology itself, making it uncover its particularities and potentialities, be it multichannel composition presented on a high-tech PA or a diy device detecting electromagnetic fields, and organic qualities of sound sources and materials used, giving the work an animistic dimension. No matter if the piece is built upon aesthetics of do-it-yourself approach, or tends to address and use minimalistic means of expression, there is always a power, feeding the tension in the piece, which lies down in a look from the top, giving the work a bit of bitterness with the help of hidden absurdity and humor, concealed in the choice of material, type of interaction with the visitor, or the placement of the piece itself. Tension, but not on the outside, is what my work bears with itself.

What is your work process like? Do you deal with preparation and research? How do you search for your themes? How do you choose the media you work in?

Work is a constant state of mind and body, I believe one never stops working these days, since it‘s an essential part of artistic practice. Physical work on realization of the piece can not be divided from the research and conceptual development, it is a fusion of all that leads to a good work that is autonomous from it‘s creator, that speaks for itself. It seems to me that there is no such need as searching for the theme, once a person (or a collective) finds and follows the pulse that makes it necessary to dive into books and endless experiments, there is a constant flow of work, which is expanding in all possible directions, guiding the growing of each branch by finalizing one idea into a realized piece. Practical experimenting with a clear mind is a tool for uncovering capacities of media themselves, the ability to see those potentialities is the one‘s intuition, hidden in an infinite process of addressing oneself with a truthful attitude, being honest and remorseless to what‘s being revealed in one‘s stance, all that in order to essentially develop the concept instead of glorifying the medium or technology. I believe that the first and most necessary step is laying in finding a medium which resonates with one and learning to use it, then it‘s just a matter of developing the thinking to be able to address any upcoming topics.

What is your vision for the future? How do you want to develop your work and continue your previous projects/realizations? What is your long-term goal/dream?

My wish is to go on with the activities I’m involved into right now, meaning exploring the field of sound art by going deeper into the areas I’ve attempted to work with, which ranges from building electronic devices for specific purposes to creating generative audio content; push the boundaries of possibilities and personal skills in working with the technology of spatial audio (both in fixed media format and in live act situation); continuing the curatorial activities within the sphere of event organization, focused on mediation of sound in art, contemporary electroacoustic and experimental electronic music; and go on with collaborational and group projects, which is, from my point of view, is one of the most powerful tools of realising one’s weaknesses, and, what’s even better, deal with them and consciously turn them into advantages. I anyway hope and believe that there will be more works being created in the field of sound art, but the works which are focused the most on the experience, on the power of sound as a medium, where the soundwaves are used as a material that one can work with, in a similar way how an artist treats the paint, clay, or any other kind of physical and visible material, because sound is no less a physical resource than any other means.


I am a new media artist from Belarus, based in Usti nad Labem, currently studying time-based media in Linz. I work as a sound designer, recordist, editor, music producer and sonic curator. Dominant part of my artworks is based on a wide variety of aspects of sound, such as sonic environment, field-recordings, electroacoustic music and spatial sound. In my work I attempt to go for intuition together with constant development of my skills, trying to keep distance from fast-changing leading movements.