Plastic_ity is a biotechnological sound installation composed of earthworms terrarium, layers of speakers with microplastics and soil. The installation is constructed as an interface for earthworms to move microplastics to the deeper layers of soil with sound. The terrarium inhabited by earthworms is located at the top of the installation and is equipped with probes that monitor the movement of earthworms. The movement in the terrarium controls the volume of prerecorded sound of earthworms. The sound intensity influences transportation of the microplastics to the deeper layers of the installation. The prerecorded sounds thus become a 3-chanelled sound composition performed by earthworms while they move inside the terrarium.
Artist Saša Spačal tackles the pressing issue of influence of human progress on ecology. The work with eloquent title Plastic_ity focuses on problematics of microplastics particles in the soil. In collaboration with Jan Turk, responsible for sound and advised by Mirjan Švagelj, PhD in biomedicine, the artist created a biotechnological sound installation that speaks about the porosity of soil and its inhabitants.
“Ground layers are formed due to the diversity of various metabolic processes in soil and are different due to numerous characteristics, such as humus content, color, humidity, root architecture quality and, in the era of Anthropocene also by the level and different kinds of microplastics. Soil fauna, such as earthworms, redistribute and process the soil together with various particles of microplastics that are produced by humankind.”
As she says, with the installation she ‘is trying to give a voice to the soil inhabitants so they could tell a story of how human activity penetrates into deeper layers of the underground.’.
Sound design: Jan Turk
Counseling, construction: Mirjan Švagelj, PhD
Curation, organisation: Irena Pivka, Brane Zorman
Production: Cona – Institute for Contemporary Art Processing
Project website: Plastic_ity
Plastic_ity, Simulaker gallery, Novo mesto, Slovenia [April – May 2019]
Plastic_ity, Steklenik – Gallery for Sound, Bioacustics and Art, University Botanical Gardens, Ljubljana, Slovenia [Dec. 2018 – Jan. 2019]