16:00 – 18:00 UTC+1 on 4 June 2021
Environmental streams from the Acoustic Commons network for Campus for Climate Action
Acra, Upper Hudson Valley, NY (pond — Zach Poff with Wave Farm)
Loughborough Junction, London (ad hoc domestic wilding — Soundcamp)
Berlin (peri-urban peat bog — Udo Noll)
Rotherhithe, London (urban ecology park — Soundcamp with Stave Hill Ecological Park)
Frioul archipelago (marginal Mediterranean biome — Locus Sonus)
Kolkata (night — Sukanta Majumdar)
Queensland (rainforest remnant canopy — Leah Barclay)
South Walney Island, Cumbria (shingle spit — FON with Cumbria Wildlife Trust)
Streams and order subject to change
Listening as a form of attention-giving that asks us to dedicatedly give time to what we are or are not hearing. What are we listening to when we tune in to environments at a distance? What are we listening for?
While humans are only ever implied presences on the locus sonus live streams — rarely appearing audibly, consciously — we can only listen in because a human has placed a microphone in the landscape. As listeners we attend to the stream with the streamer, the person who has opened the microphone, who wants us to hear something or everything of the world, from where they stand. On this networked map of streamers. Somehow it’s easy to forget there are bodies behind these sound channels —
So we connect with each other without hearing each other, purposefully meeting without the sound of us 'getting in the way'. Because the open mic is an offer, a hope, a wish — for meeting in each others’ acoustic spaces, with little or no need for explanation or narration. We orient by ear. And we find each other by ear, even without hearing each other’s bodies. Because maybe what we discover is that we hear each other more acutely, more tenderly in the sounds we might share in common — traffic, birds, wind, water — which by attending carefully, sound out the specificity of their site and geographical location. Yes, we all hear birds, but the birds speak to us of difference. Of the time zone, of the hemisphere, the climate and a sense of the migratory journey. We listen to what we know and re-learn the common signifier as one that describes its environment in extraordinary acoustic detail.
Can we offer how we gather in the listening room as an approach attending to the world in greater detail? Can we offer this method as one that gifts time to finding the importance of what is in common, and what is not?
We travel far-away by ear, and we hear what’s outside our own window in sharper audibility, the range of our hearing expands. And with this new awareness, is an acoustic attention to the interconnected world. And our place within it. Some place microphones to hear what is around us, beside us, within us — right now. The streamers. By opening sound channels across the globe, these inaudible bodies remind us that listening happens in the present tense that always holds the fragile past and future; they remind us that listening is to witness, and advocate for, the world as it changes; that listening is a practice of action.
Ella Finer London, 3 June 2021 16:00
) Listening room ( is a project by Soundcamp and Ella Finer, hosted by Locus Sonus at the École Supérieure d'Art d'Aix-en-Provence.
The Acoustic Commons is an emerging network of live environmental audio streams drawing attention to the unique sounds of particular places across Europe and beyond. Partners: Full of Noises (Barrow, Cumbria), Locus Sonus (Aix-Marseille), CONA (Ljubljana) and Soundcamp (London).
Alternatives to Crisis - Campus for Climate Action at Bath Spa University will explore art to transform ecologies, and the role of creativity in performing other possible worlds. With an exciting, varied program we will consider how aesthetic, creative and cultural approaches can fulfil common but differentiated responsibilities with view to connecting alternative communities and galvanising symbiotic global alliances. With view to activating hope we will consider alternative ways of seeing, doing and imagining - challenging canonised western concepts in favour of recognising alternatives already forging post-capitalist futures around the world.
Embracing a range of creative practices and ways of working this event brings together a dynamic mix of artists, curators, policy advisors, activists and scientists to discuss and unpick authentic alternative practices. Collaborative working, feminist leadership, sufficiency over efficiency, assigning rights to nature, celebrating indigeneity, Global South-led development and the role of activism are just some examples of the compelling issues that will be addressed. Looking beyond art as communicator of climate knowledge we ask; can creative citizens, as agents of transformative action, usher in a realisation of environmental and ecological justice?
The extended online conference from 10th - 1st June 2021, will involve speakers, film screenings, artist talks, panel discussions and associated workshops.
Acoustic Commons is supported by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme.
Soundcamp are supported using public funding from Arts Council England