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"(de)COMPOSITIONS" - a short overview of the concept behind the work, research and experience


The artwork considers already existing bio-marker which indicate fertility and other conditions of soil - Earthworms, alongside man-made technology - IoT sensors, as agents monitoring the work of these pre-existing living technology. Earthworms are biosensors of soil health as well as bio-mechanisms crucial for soil fertility. While contemporary farming / observatory practices can be preoccupied with digital technology to gather and transmit signals about the state of the land, these digital means rarely offer a whole picture about the reasons for this state. The myriad of processes happening in the soil and the presence (or absence) of living “non-human others” animating some of these processes are missing from the experience and conversation. In this way the data tells only a very small part of the story leaving recipients/observers/viewers still very much disconnected from the source of data.

H(de)Compositions bridges the source (input) and the data (output) through inviting viewers to take part in a multi sensory experience observing how the artwork - a fragment of the “land” - changes through time - its form, sound and even smell - determined by the activities of the earthworms.

In a specially constructed container - a monolith - there are different types of soil, moist and fertile and also depleted and dry. The tiger earthworms, which occupy the "topsoil" layer of soils, work tirelessly to mix both these types of soil - reviving and fertilising while at the same time recycling the remains of organic matter. Moisture sensors placed across soils in the container(s) are continuously monitoring the soil conditions and their transition (thanks to the work of the earthworms) whilst bespoke piezo sensors surveil for activity and number of worms. These sensors influence the sound surrounding the container, which is distributed spatially across at least 4 speakers and slowly changes in time and space.

The visitor enters a very dark space. Straight red LED light lines from the container(s) together with sound guide the way. When the visitor approaches one side of the container, a motion sensor detects her presence and a light illuminates the relevant part of the container - so the visitor can see the amazing work of earthworms.

The sound of the artwork is spatial and transmitted from at least 4 speakers (installation will include an equivalent number of speakers to sides of the container) positioned around the installation. There is soil scattered on the ground (ideally the visitor would enter barefooted) and the scent of soil in the air - depending on the changing soil type and quality.


Construction: GOSIA SIWIEC


This work was done in collaboration with GROW OBSERVATORY
Comissioned by STARTS EU produced by Future Everything


29.06 - 23.07.2021
Quasi Worlds ad Near Futures
State Studios
Berlin, Germany


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