( U n ) H e a r d
15th May 2019 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
An Audio Visual Installation by Teddy Hunter
Words by Rosey Brown
How can we hear something that cannot be heard?
How can we translate something that does not talk?
‘The lichens are strangely connected beings: algae intimately interrelated with fungi. A still stranger connection: algae, fungi, humans.’
(Arne Næss, The Ecology of Wisdom)
We know that complex root systems connect plants and trees, but what is less understood is how these interconnections facilitate plant-to-plant communication. Whilst we may not be able to hear plants ‘talking’ to each other, we can nevertheless sonify biodata, using the concept of ‘plant language’ as a challenge to translate a language that cannot be heard into a sound that we can interpret.
The installation consists of three ambisonic ‘worlds’ – each consisting of a set of four loudspeakers – installed in close proximity to each other. Ambisonics allows us to hear sound more holistically – it’s a multidirectional recording and playback process. From a distance the sounds merge, but as we move closer to each world we begin to hear that amongst the sonic overlaps and collisions, certain characteristics emerge, allowing us to drift from one listening environment to another. In a sense – each world is based on the language of a particular plant – provides the listener with a different way of translating plant messages, allowing us to ‘eavesdrop’ on a plant conversation. 6-10pm // SHIFT // 15/5/19