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Soil Interfaces and Interactions

image bare looking palm trees and saplings in a quarry, the earth is exposed and red in colour

Who defines what soil is and determines how it is used and cared for? Following the 22nd World Congress of Soil Science – Crossing Boundaries, Changing Society and the current exhibition We are Compost / Composting the We at the CCA, CCA Annex is hosting a series of online performance lectures and dialogues in a process of collaborative thinking between art, science and ancestral ways of knowing. In an age characterised by the entangled crises of climate change and political upheaval we are interested in exploring soils as dynamic spaces of multi-species engineering and convivial encounter, collective metabolisms that materially and conceptually intersect with concerns about food sovereignty, waste and energy streams, allotment politics, right to land, seed saving strategies, and soils as relational bodies.

Discovering uncultured microbes in the field or simply pulling a potato plant out of earth – the entanglement of human and soil interactions can have unexpected consequences for different species and whole ecosystems. Some parts too small to see, some too present to stand out, too dense to enter or too slow to distract – soils pose temporal and spatial challenges for those wishing to access its processes and experiences.

In this panel, we will discuss our struggles and joys of interacting with soils and their ecologies in transdisciplinary art and design contexts. We learned from soil microbes of Biosphere 2, designed and built active material soil-enzyme interfaces, co-created tools for culturing uncultured microbes and travelled soil landscapes of Cambodian ports, Vietnamese highlands, Hong Kong villages, Mediterranean land, Atlantic dunes and Swiss glaciers.

The panel discussion will draw from the research project “Digit Soil”, MA studio “Culturing the Uncultured”, BA/MA studio “Spatial Interaction: a metabolic approach to space”, BA thesis “on souls and soil” (Bui 2021), field installation “Micro-be-Monumental” (Franinovic & Kirschner 2022) and Bui’’s ongoing MA thesis project about landscaping Vietnam.

Registration or pre-booking is not required for this event, simply open CCA Annex at 6.00pm (UK time) on your browser, however please feel free to register for event reminders.

Questions will be invited from the audience who can participate over CCA Annex. This event will be live-captioned and recorded.

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