Can you actually hear grass growing? What does the earthworm say to the centipede when they meet beneath the carrot field? What is the difference in sound from a vegetable field with organic soil and one with conventional ones? Biovision is one of those listening carefully as it is using the installation “Sounding Soil” to raise the public’s awareness of the importance of our soils.
Can you actually hear grass growing? What does the earthworm say to the centipede when they meet beneath the carrot field? What is the difference in sound from a vegetable field with organic soil and one with conventional ones?
An exhibition in a ship container with 3D surround sound
In his art installation Sounding Soil, Marcus Maeder, the sound artist, researcher and composer is bringing to life the noises made by plants, insects and other organisms living in the soil. Biovision is supporting the project as it is using the sounds coming from the soil as a way of raising awareness amongst a wider public to the importance of soils. Most people are aware of other environmental factors, such as air and water pollution or global warming but remain much less aware of the value and importance of soils for the environment, nature and the human population. For example, healthy soil is the basis for both food and biodiversity and so is absolutely crucial. Through the Sounding Soil project, we want to help ensure that greater care is taken of our soils because they are so important for sustainable food systems.
Sounding Soil" was presented to the public on Agriculture Day on 20 October in the Paul Klee Centre in Bern. From December to mid-March it was at the Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK. From May 2019 the installation will be on the road again. The walk-in installation, housed in a shipping container with a 3D Surround Loudspeaker System, makes you feel as though are in the soil and walking between the roots and animals. Visitors can touch the various screens to hear a range of soil recordings and obtain the relevant background information.
Citizen Science – You can take part
From the end of May 2019, the public can take part in a scientific and artistic exploration of soils: Anyone who is interested or just curious can borrow the equipment and record sounds from the soil themselves. These recordings will then become part of the installation and a sound map of Swiss soils. By the end of project, there will be an extensive collection of sounds coming from our soils.
Are you interested? Then send us an e-mail with your postal address: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is so exciting is that you can examine and compare sounds from a very wide range of soils, e.g. allotments, wildflower meadows, grassland, arable fields, vineyards, orchards, permaculture soils, compost heaps, golf fairways and woodland. In this way, the project will reflect a range of different methods of cultivation such as those using the Demeter, organic or IP-Suisse principles or conventional methods.