Miranda Whall: When Earth Speaks

Ongoing Project

When Earth Speaks is a series of durational and relational drawing performances made during 2023-2024 in which Miranda Whall translates raw data from various sources. In June 2024 the series will culminate in a live improvisational performance titled When Earth Speaks; A Dirty Ensemble that will take place at the Theatr Y Werin, Arts Centre Aberystwyth in West Wales.

In When Earth Speaks Miranda represents the high-resolution soil sensor technology data beyond traditional statistics, so that the data might have a wider meaning and greater impact. During the performances, Miranda is drawing and reciting a continuous stream of raw ‘dirty’ data emitted from an agri-sensor network installed in the Cambrian Mountains in West Wales. The 12 agri-sensors register and record the fluctuations in soil temperature and soil moisture every 15 minutes.

Miranda’s drawing performances aim to translate and communicate the data to animate and inanimate audiences, on the basis that both human and non-humans have a common and vested interest in the condition of the earth. The drawings, which are surface accumulations of thousands of pen written numbers gathered over time, become textured and opaque as the numbers settle on the paper, much like all of the mineral particles, organic materials, air, water and living organisms are compacted over time into earth.

The earth doesn’t speak, so this ground-breaking technology enables scientists, land managers, investors, and stakeholders to listen to what the earth is telling them and how it needs to be managed and protected to sustain human, animal, vegetal, fungal and bacterial livelihoods as we move into more extreme and unpredictable weather conditions. Miranda’s rendering of the high – resolution soil sensor data beyond traditional statistics, aims to offer a wider meaning and greater impact to soil science by offering new perspectives on the scientific research.

Various iterations of When Earth Speaks have been presented in Aberystwyth Arts Centre (When Earth Speaks to Humans); Botany House, Aberystwyth University (When Earth Speaks to Plants and AI); Aberystwyth Arts Centre as part of Aberetwm Arts Festival (When Earth Speaks to Harp).

When Earth Speaks was initially funded by the National Environmental Research Council (NERC) as part of the X Disciplinary Hopping Research Project Planetary Multispecies Politics in Action, led by Professor Milja Kurki, Aberystwyth University.

Miranda Whall developed her side of the wider project as part of LADA’s programme Live Art in Rural UK.

Miranda Whall stood in a field smiling, next to soil sensor technology Miranda Whall installing the agri-sensor network in August 2022
Miranda Whall sat in the Botany House, drawing, surrounded by lush green plants and bright colourful pink flowers Miranda Whall performing 'When Earth Speaks to Plants and AI' at the Botany House. Image credit Mike Varney
Find out more about When Earth Speaks

About Miranda Whall

Miranda Whall studied her undergraduate in fine art at UWIC, Cardiff and the Emily Carr School, Vancouver, Canada, her postgraduate in sculpture at The Royal Academy Schools, London, and was an associate student at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She has exhibited internationally since 1997 and was recipient of an Arts Council Wales Major Creative Wales Award in 2012 and an Arts Council Wales Large Production Grant in 2017/18. Recent solo shows include Crossed Paths – Sheep at Oriel Davies Newtown, Wales in 2018, and Passage at the Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Art, Bath in 2015.

Miranda has undergone 18 international residencies, has been the recipient of numerous Arts Council England grants and has curated and organised a multitude of artists and student exhibitions. She has commissioned artists, musicians, writers, poets, actors, photographers, filmmakers and dancers to collaborate in her projects. Miranda is currently working on a NERC Discipline Hopping funded project with a sci-art team and the Pwllpeiran Upland Research Centre, Aberystwyth University, and a public tree crawl for the ArtBomb Festival in Doncaster in August 2022.

Banner image credit:

Image credit Miranda Whall.

Part of Live Art in Rural UK

Live Art in Rural UK is a year long programme conceived by LADA’s former Director, Vivian Chinasa Ezugha. It focuses on amplifying the embodied practices of artists living and working in rural locations across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Ongoing

Live Art in Rural UK

Live Art in Rural UK is a year long programme conceived by LADA’s former Director, Vivian Chinasa Ezugha. It focuses on amplifying the embodied practices of artists living and working in rural locations across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Read more
Ongoing

Poppy Jackson: Pathways Home

Live Art in Rural UK is a yearlong programme conceived by LADA’s former Director, Vivian Chinasa Ezugha. It focuses on amplifying the embodied practices of artists living and working in rural locations across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Read more

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