[spectre] Living Earth - Available Now!

Annette Wolfsberger | Sonic Acts annette at sonicacts.com
Thu May 26 14:58:15 CEST 2016


Edited by Mirna Belina & Sonic Acts
Published by Sonic Acts Press
Design by Arthur Roeloffzen
Book, 256 pp., English text, illustrated
Introduction price: 16,50 EUR
Estimated shipping date: June 1st

Living Earth is a new book filled with ideas, conversations, lectures, and documentation of commissioned installations, soundwalks, concerts and performances made for and during the Dark Ecology project. This three-year project, a collaboration of Sonic Acts and the Norwegian curator Hilde Methi, ran from 2014 to 2016 in different places in Norway and Russia and included three curated ‘journeys’. Living Earth is a living recreation of these research trips in the Barents Region, from Kirkenes and Svanvik in Norway to Nikel, Zapolyarny and Murmansk in Russia.

The project was inspired by Timothy Morton’s concept of ‘dark ecology’ and his philosophy of ‘ecology without nature’. Morton offeres a radical criticism of the modernist way of thinking about nature as something outside of us, and instead confronts us with an interconnected ‘mesh’ of all living and non-living objects. He ruminates on this idea in his essay for Living Earth entitled ‘What Is Dark Ecology’, stating right at the beginning that ecological awareness is ‘weird weirdness’.

Living Earth is a 256-page trip with artists, thinkers, curators and other Dark Ecology participants into the dark space of rethinking nature and art, also adding to the contemporary Anthropocene debate. The project motives and its impact are discussed in the interview with the curatorial team ‘Outside the Comfort Zone’, which opens the book. Next to Timothy Morton’s long essay the book contains contributions by Susan Schuppli (‘Dirty Pictures’), and Berit Kristofferson (‘The Workable Arctic of Ice and Oil’) which engage the consequences of the Anthropocene. There is an interview with Heather Davis (‘Queer Kinship’) and in her essay about Margrethe Pettersen’s soundwalk (Living Land – Below as Above), Britt Kramvig builds on the concept of ‘anthropo-not-seen’. Tatjana Gorbachewskaja and Katya Larina researched the interaction between the Arctic environment and the architecture of the Russian mining town Nikel (‘Nikel—The City as a Material’). Graham Harman embarks on an interesting rethinking of Jakob von Uexküll’s influential book A Foray Into the World of Animals and Humans and its notion of environment (‘Magic Uexküll’).
‘What an amazing journey it was, through the Arctic regions of Norway and Russia! Now everyone can live or relive it through this feast of a collection.’ – Graham Harman

Living Earth is a catalogue too, as it documents and presents in different formats the commissioned works created for Dark Ecology. There are works by HC Gilje (Barents – Mare Incognitum; The Crossing; Mikro with Justin Bennett), Joris Strijbos (‘Machine Synaesthetics’, an interview about his work IsoScope), Espen Sommer Eide (Material Vision – Silent Reading; ‘A Vertical Perspective’ – a text about his collaboration with Signe Lidén on Altitude and History). Some artists were already presented in more depth in a previous Sonic Acts book, The Geologic Imagination (2015), but are present in Living Earth as well: Raviv Ganchrow (Long Wave Synthesis), Karl Lemieux and BJ Nilsen (unearthed), Marijn de Jong (with a photo essay Grey Zone) and Femke Herregraven (Staring into the Ice).

Other commissions and chapters in Living Earth include: Signe Lidén (krysning/пересечение/conflux), Justin Bennett (Vilgiskoddeoayvinyarvi: Wolf Lake on the Mountains), Hilary Jeffery (Murmansk Spaceport), Cecilia Jonsson (Prospecting: a Geological Survey of Greys), Lucy Railton and Russell Haswell (Unknown) and the Secret Chambers I and II, two nights of live performances curated by Anya Kuts and Ivan Zoloto.

As a catalogue of texts and visual essays from the Dark Ecology project Living Earth constitutes a vibrant conversation with the previous Sonic Acts book The Geologic Imagination, but is also a starting point for the ongoing contemporary debates about the nature, ecology, art and ‘mesh’ that we live in. 

Read more about Living Earth: http://sonicacts.com/darkecology/living-earth-book/

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