Sonic Acts presents Night Air: Soil Samples

Tuesday 6 April 16:38

Sonic Acts continues its Night Air series of online transmissions with Soil Samples on Saturday 24 April. This second event of the series includes live talks and performances from 20:00 CEST with Dorsey Kaufmann, Felicity Mangan, Kunal Palawat, Martin Howse and Red Brut, alongside weekend-long screenings of the films Mined Soil (2014) by Filipa César and You Think The Earth Is a Dead Thing (2019) by Florence Lazar. Tickets (€3,50) Attend on Facebook PROGRAMME All times CEST Live 20:00 Introduction 20:10 Felicity Mangan 20:45 Martin Howse 21:20 Kunal Palawat & Dorsey Kaufmann 21:50 Q&A 22:15 Red Brut Films Mined Soil (2014) 34 min, Filipa César, Portuguese with English subtitles You Think The Earth Is a Dead Thing (2019) 70 min, Florence Lazar, French with English subtitles Repeating every two hours from 10:00 on 24 April until 23:59 on 25 April Dorsey Kaufmann actively challenges disciplinary boundaries by making work at the intersection of art, environmental science, and politics. She primarily works in time-based media; including video, performance, animation, and 3-D installations. Her practice examines the conflict among corporations, governments, and community health. Her work visualises how these tensions and perceptions constantly define and redefine our built environment. Felicity Mangan is an Australian sound artist and composer based in Berlin since 2008. In different situations, from solo performances and installations to collaborative projects with other artists, Felicity plays with the timbre of animal voices and field recordings to create minimal quasi-bioacoustic environments. Recently, the artist has been exploring the fundamentals of soil life and interspecies creativity, delving into soil’s soundscape, equipped with sensors and imagination. Kunal Palawat is a terrestrial biogeochemist and critical ecologist currently working at the intersections of pollution, community-based research, data science, and environmental justice at the University of Arizona on occupied Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui lands (so-called Tucson) in the Ramírez-Andreotta Lab. They are also a Lab Manager and Research Associate with the Critical Ecology Lab, a non-profit research and education container striving to explicitly connect systems of oppression/liberation to global change. Martin Howse is occupied with an investigation of the links between the earth, software and the human psyche through the construction of experimental situations, material artworks and texts. From 1998 to 2005 Howse was director of ap, a software performance group working with electronic waste, pioneering an early approach to digital glitch. For the last ten years, he has initiated numerous open-laboratory style projects and performed, published, lectured and exhibited worldwide. Red Brut is the moniker of Rotterdam-based artist Marijn Verbiesen (part of Sweat Tongue and JSCA). As Red Brut she is isolated, displaying a highly talented ear for day-to-day sounds, musique concréte composition and spontaneous sound collage. FILM Mined Soil (2014) 34 min, Filipa César The film-essay Mined Soil revisits the Guinean agronomist Amílcar Cabral's work, studying the erosion of soil in the Portuguese Alentejo region through to his engagement as one of the leaders of the African Liberation Movement. This line of thought intertwines documentation on an experimental gold mining site, operated today by a Canadian company and located in the same Portuguese area once studied by Cabral. The reading of the essay explores the space, surfaces and textures of the images, proposing past and present definitions of soil as a repository of memory, trace, exploitation, crisis, arsenal, treasure and palimpsest. You Think The Earth Is a Dead Thing (2019) 70 min, Florence Lazar One of the many far-reaching impacts of the slave trade on human history can be seen in agriculture and horticulture. While the French plantation owners on the Caribbean island of Martinique had their gardens laid out in Versailles style, their enslaved workers continued their tradition of using medicinal wild herbs, which grew in hedges on the periphery of the 'habitations'. The plants were known as rimèd razie, or 'hedge remedies'. Nowadays these herbs represent one of several resources through which the people of Martinique counter the health and ecological ravage caused by the use of pesticides on the banana plantations, which cover a quarter of the land. Another form of resistance is being led by farmers who are reclaiming uncultivated lands to grow indigenous vegetables, guided by expert local knowledge and without any industrial pesticides. While pruning, chopping and harvesting the plants, local farmers explain – with extensive historic knowledge of the post-colonial era – how difficult it is to preserve biodiversity. These lively interviews alternate with more poetic and tranquil scenes of the island’s lush greenery, and of the cause of the problems: the dangling bunches of bananas, wrapped in plastic. The film looks at the 'global ecological crisis' from the perspective of the island of Martinique. In reflecting on ecology, the film not only raises issues concerning nature and damaged ecosystems but, moreover, focuses on spaces of resistance to the crisis in which women and men acknowledge and act from the historical perspective of colonialism, where ecological struggle and the colonial past are intrinsically linked. Night Air Night Air is a series of online transmissions that aims to make pollution visible by bringing forth the various side-effects of modernity: from colonial exploitation of people and resources to perpetual inequalities brought about by the destruction of the environment and common land – in other words, destructive capitalist practices that shape both our environment and human-nonhuman relations. **Night air is a myth with its origins in miasma theory (from the Greek for ‘pollution’). The theory held that smelly air from decaying organic matter caused illness. The smell would intensify and worsen by night, so night air became synonymous with poisonous and noxious vapours that could even cause pandemics such as cholera or plague. Only with developments in medicine and various scientific endeavours around the London cholera epidemic in the mid-1800s, did germs replace the ‘unhealthy fog’ as the culprit for diseases. And now, even though the idea has been abandoned, night air still echoes in words such as malaria (‘bad air’ in Italian), which actually connects air-borne poison with flying pests such as the disease-carrying mosquitoes. Part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union

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