Unearthing Queer Ecologies in Portugal
Unearthing Queer Ecologies is an ongoing audio/ visual sound art project using biology and technology to reveal imagery and sounds of growing plantlife and ecosystems that exist beyond the scope of human eyes and ears. The title references the term Queer Ecology which scholar Catriona Sandilands describes as “recognizing that people often regard nature in terms of dualistic notions like “natural and unnatural,” “alive or not alive” or “human or not human,” when in reality, nature exists in a continuous state.” This project pays homage to this idea by sonically and visually documenting the growth of lavender, pansies and mushrooms; plants that have been deemed “queer” by culture and organisms that are “queer” in the very nature of their DNA. Using innovative technology, electrodes are attached to plants and Plantwave converts the electrical impulses from the plants into midi information. This midi information is sent into analogue and digital synthesizers thus, producing sounds. The initial video was created by generating video from sound using Max 8. The generative video aspect happening in real time was developed by artist and technologist, Mel Gross. Unearthing Queer Ecologies was invited to MEXE festival in the form of two performances in Porto and Lisbon as well as an audio visual installation at the Jardim Botanical (Botanical Gardens) of Porto, Portugal.
This project received a USArtists International Grant to create an installation at the Botanical Gardens and to be performed at MEXE Festival at a public park in Porto and at Culturgest in Lisbon, Portugal in Spetember, 2021. In addition to this, the project received a micro grant from BOPA as well as The Medicine Show.