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Terra-Tending: 2179, 2022

20 minutes, 40 second

commissioned BY LATROBE REGIONAL GALLERY (2022)

 

LATROBE REGIONAL GALLERY (2022), 4 channels

eco_media IV: rip, rip, microchip symposium (2022), 24.2 channels

TerraTending: 2179 is a site-responsive sonic simulation that presents seven speculative encounters with the earth.

These speculative encounters are set one hundred and fifty-seven years from now—after the earth’s rehabilitation is complete, the last hollowing tickets were relinquished, the handing back, underway. At the beginning of the 22nd century, the practice of TerraTending1 was developed, popularised, and eventually ritualised. This approach to lignite listening facilitated the earthward reorientation of human ears, reaffirming humans as geo-subjects participating as a ‘living part of the geosocial matrix’.2

 

TerraTending is enabled only by guides known as Belayers. They collect surface artefacts—ancient copper, aluminium, and glass—which are activated by the Belayer. The sounds of these minerals provide the listener with geophonic signs during their descent and allow the listener to stretch their ears into the earth. With cheeks pressed to cold carbon, those TerraTending are able to trace the blood of rocks and ancestral salts, learning of the bovine and the bones that became the fuel and the fires of the past.

 

TerraTending: 2179 features recordings of materials collected from the Morwell Industrial Metal Recyclers and is composed from field recordings that were made during my time spent in South-Eastern Victoria, Australia, on Gunaikurnai Country. 

[1] The geonto-tech movement saw a shift in the invention of new technologies that supported earth ontologies, corporeal attending, and material recognition. The earthward orientation of human ears was a crucial contributor to what became known as the Third Geological Turn.

Geonto-tech eventually superseded 21st century communications that focused on external relations. 

 

[2] Yusoff, Kathryn. “Queer Coal: Genealogies In/of the Blood.” Philosophia (Albany, N.Y.), vol. 5, no. 2, 2015, pp. 203–29.

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