Sensing Gaia

The Earth is a non-human archive. Traces of synergetic design processes are inscribed into its surface. Its autopoietic images are made visible through climate change and extreme weather phenomena.

Cases —
  Otherwise 2019 / installation    
  +41 Magazine 2020 / essay
  Listen Back 2020 / audio
  Planetary Diagrams 2021 / chapter
  Otherwise 2021 / web

  (Non)Depleted 2021 / installation

      As it seems the Earth can no longer be thought without mankind since many changes are already irreversible. What if thinking mankind without the Earth doesn't make sense either? The planet Earth isn't just a passive playground for humans to act upon, but rather it's the main actor in a comprehensive and dynamic ecosystem. Therefore, environmental disasters, extreme weather and in general climate change phenomena become perceptible indicators for profound system changes and witnesses of preceding processes at the same time.
      We propose a notion of the Earth as a living and ever-changing archive. Accelerated by human influence, effects of climate change reveal human design activities on larger scale that were inscribed and are not visible anymore.
      Altogether, we are interested in the man-made climate change as a medium of indication. As a process of materialisation it visualises societal interventions on and against the Earth and its inhabitants through nature itself. The man-accelerated ecological processes, thus, become a method of post-human design. Without explicit human intention, effects of climate change reveal the evenly unintentional archival processes of human cultural activities of the Earth. A geo-epistemic serendipity which implies non-human distinction processes that are too sensitive for a human understanding of the world.


Otherwise Festival

Zurich / 2019
Initiated by Otherwise

            The installation offered a multi-sensorial experience where our participants witnessed mediated imitations of a diverse range of revelational processes of geological memory due to climate change. Next to projected visuals, sonifications guided through the different essays of the geological archive. Through field recordings from various urban and non-urban environments, we sonified the physical and chemical processes at the very core of each natural archive. As the Earth always listened to us and never forgot, the participants had the chance to listen back.

all photos by Michael Meili