Episode 3: When Forests Speak
BALTIC Podcast series Climate Frequencies listens to the climate emergency and its reverberations through the ears of artists, thinkers and activists.
We begin deep in the molten core of the earth, tunnel through the rock formations under our feet before burrowing up to the soil and land, through forests, and out to the oceans ascending to our final episode into the air we breathe.
In this episode, musician and artist Natalie Sharp travels deep into the heart of the Amazon rainforest to listen to the chorus of its inhabitants. She thinks about the effects the destruction of rainforests is having on the planet and asks if listening to the sounds of these unique ecosystems can change our perspective on the climate emergency. How could an interspecies alliance – an alliance between humans and non-human entities – combat the forces of destruction?
Sound artist David Monacchi and urbanist-architect Paulo Tavares discuss their experiences of documenting the destruction of rainforests in South America and the impact on both human and non-human inhabitants. Artist and writer Maria Tereza Alves reads from her book Recipes for Survival, which considers the effects of the timber industry on her hometown in Brazil.
Recipes for Survival includes content listeners may find distressing.
Presented by Natalie Sharp. Produced and sound designed by Femi Oriogun-Williams and exec produced by Alannah Chance for Reduced Listening.
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Episode 3 Guests
Paulo Tavares is an architect, researcher, and educator. His work has been featured in exhibitions and publications worldwide, including Harvard Design Magazine, the Oslo Architecture Triennial, the Istanbul Design Biennial, and the São Paulo Biennial. He is the author of the books Forest Law (2014), Des-Habitat (2019), and Memória da terra (2020), and was co-curator of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial. He teaches spatial and visual cultures at the University of Brasilia in Brazil.
David Monacchi is an eco-acoustics researcher, composer and interdisciplinary artist. He has been developing the project Fragments of Extinction for 15 years, conducting field research in the world’s remaining areas of undisturbed primary equatorial forest. The recipient of multiple awards throughout Europe and North America, Monacchi is pioneering a new compositional and science dissemination approach based on 3D soundscape recordings of ecosystems to foster discourse on the biodiversity crisis through educational and sound-art installations. He has worked for 25 years in cross-disciplinary contexts and produced works for contemporary music, art installation, cinema, video-art, site specific public art, science and contemporary art museums, and is a founding member of several scientific and artistic networks. Monacchi has taught at the University of Macerata (IT) since 2000, and is now professor of Electroacoustics at the Conservatorio “G. Rossini” of Pesaro (IT). His documentary film Dusk Chorus – based on Fragments of Extinction has received awards in environmental and science film festivals throughout the world. A TEDx speaker in 2017, Monacchi was the recipient of the Artistic Research Residency 2018 at IRCAM (Paris).
Maria Thereza Alves has worked and exhibited internationally since the 1980s, creating a body of work investigating the histories and circumstances of particular localities to give witness to silenced histories. Her projects are research-based and develop out of her interactions with the physical and social environments of the places she lives or visits for exhibitions and residencies. These projects begin in response to local needs and proceed through a process of dialogue that is often facilitated between material and environmental realities and social circumstances. While aware of Western binaries between nature and culture, art and politics, or art and daily life, she deliberately refuses to acknowledge them in her practice. She chooses instead to work with people in communities as equals through relational practices of collaboration that require constant movement across all of these boundaries.