The responsive kinetic installation Sonoseismic Earth presents Earth in the age of the Anthropocene, the geological epoch of industrial societies. It is an age that has witnessed disruptions in the earth’s systems on a planetary scale. The crisis of the planet is marked by climate change; loss of biodiversity; pollution of the sea, land and air; exploitation of natural resources; and heavy depletion of soil.
Sonoseismic Earth makes a possible entry into a planetary perspective, into the sensual and haptic relationship between the human and the planet. The depletion of fossil fuels in the earth’s crust causes tectonic cracks; hence, in the installation, the globe is gradually polluted. The rendering of seismographic shifts intensifies with the proximity of human beings detected by sensors. The planet emits the infrasonic sound of earthquakes; it submerges the human in the ubiquitous acoustic space with no identifiable origin. The infrasonic sound is a warning frequency, recognized by the more sensitive beings as a sign of danger. With the acoustic environment of the Sonoseismic Earth, humans are caught actively and experientially in the drama of the endless circulation of capital. The crisis of the planet is the crisis of the system.
Sonoseismic Earth tries to condense the effect of the fossil fuel industry into an experience of carbon war waged against all life forms on the planet. Such violence makes itself visible in an abrupt and unpredictable way. At the forefront of this war is the global distribution of water, which has been profoundly influenced by climate changes, global warming, and invasive and toxic fossil fuel extractions such as fracking. Equal disruption of water is further violated by privatization of water resources and deprivation of a large number of living organisms from having access to their basic needs.
The mechanism in the Sonoseismic Earth installation contains a solution of water and fossil fuels that is squeezed out of the globe and produces a poignant odor in the surroundings, making the pollution tangible for the senses.
The water is not cleaned, as it is part of a planetary metabolic rift. The things humans consume do not rejuvenate or replenish through the metabolic processes of the earth. Products are discarded as toxic waste and end up in the bodies of organic creatures, amassing in landfills, polluting the oceans.
The metabolic rift may only be overcome in millions of years. One of the candidates for replenishment of the earth’s fossil fuel reserves is a living product, an industrial chicken. Due to mass production, it is predicted that the industrial chicken will be the model fossilised organism of the Anthropocene. By putting the bones of industrial chickens into the polluted water-oil solution, Sonoseismic Earth announces the replenishing of fossil fuels in the distant future. However, it cannot announce human existence.
Sonoseismic Earth, 2017
Saša Spačal, Ida Hiršenfelder
Technical support: dr. Mirjan Švagelj, Anil Podgornik, Blaž Berdnik, Shlosart Metalart
Photos: Boštjan Lah / Kibla Photo Archive, Jure Goršič / Aksioma Photo Archive
Project website: Sonoseismic Earth
Production: Multimedia center Kibla , Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art 
Device art 6.018, Kontejner – bureau of contemporary art praxis, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia [Dec. 2018]
Futurology, City Gallery of Nova Gorica, Nova Gorica, Slovenia [March 2018]
Speculum Artium Festival, Trbovlje, Slovenia [Sept. 2017]
Festival Mfru Kiblix 2015: Lift Me Up, Maribor, Slovenia [Oct. 2015]
Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, Slovenia [Feb. – March 2017]