Sonic Contamination


‘We are contaminated by our encounters; they change who we are as we make way for others. As contamination changes world-making projects, mutual worlds—and new directions—may emerge. Everyone carries a history of contamination; purity is not an option.’

(Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins)

Contamination is collaboration

From the human community, moss to mycelium, and the interconnecting micro-worlds. We are contaminating. We are collaborating, colliding, leaving our trace of self behind.
Traces  consisting  of  voice,  thought,  idea,  particle,  breath,  and  micro-organism.

How can we as beings become more consciously connected to the non-human, and microbiomes at the foundation of our world’s ecologies?

Is it possible to develop deeper relational understanding and care of our mutual contaminations - through listening?

Sonic Contamination is a series of outcomes exploring the idea of contamination. Challenging our role and perceptions towards species existing on different scales of being and time.
The collection attempts to bridge audiences empathetically to the intermingling microworlds around us,
through forms of sound, touch, performance, workshop and story.
Creating experiences resulting from listening and field recording living systems and environments. 

‘Time are legion’

‘Time are legion’

A profound reflection by Carlo Rovelli inspired my term time species, following the understanding that all beings exist on their own time and my pursuit in bridging to these different scales of being, sonically.

It was in the act of listening that I found a deeper level of transportation, realised during my pursuits of stillness. Specifically a moment in Scotland, listening to moss and then in the creation of a soundscape from microbe grown material.

These listening-led experiences allowed me to reveal a new conscious appreciation of the microscopic factories at work around us all, all the time, negotiating, invading, caring, as they move and contaminate continuously.

Sonic Contamination Workshop

The Sonic Contamination Workshops were developed in Epping Forest, guiding participants through extended listening methods and different ways to respond independently and collectively. Above are captures from each participant's chosen listening locations, and subsequent chromatographic traces created from collecting soil samples from each site displaying the unseen microworld's for each time specie chosen.

Sonic Traces

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Artist Laura Selby
Based in Croydon, London. UK