DARK SOUND: OIL, ECOLOGY, SOUND, AND LOSS
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
6:00 PM 7:30 PM
The oil industry provides the world with nearly 40% of its energy needs, offers the raw materials for diverse products and underpins the livelihoods of billions. At the same time, it jeopardises the environment and wreaks anthropological destruction. How do we think through this predicament and understand oil’s impact?
Mikel R. Nieto’s project Dark Sound (2016) documents the literal and metaphorical ‘noise’ that is created by the oil industry in the Ecuadorian rainforest, using recordings, reports, texts and declarations to address the industry’s impact on people and the environment. Printed in black on black paper and accompanied by a black CD, the publication is sold at the Brent price set for crude oil at the time of purchase and bears the warning that “by buying this book you are contributing to the destruction of the planet”. Dark Sound is a project that both conceals and reveals, in order to point towards the hidden nature of the costs of oil dependence. Issues concerning value and cost, and hierarchy and consent, lie at its centre.
Join us online for Nieto’s audio-visual presentation of Dark Sound and related works, followed by a Q&A and discussion.
This event is presented in English and is free of charge and open to all. It forms part of an events series addressing issues relating to sound and ecology, running alongside PRAKSIS’s seventeenth residency, Climata – Capturing change at a time of ecological crisis. Climata has been developed with sound artist Lasse-Marc Riek and Goethe Institut Norway and includes collaborations with Notam and Norsk Teknisk Museum.
ABOUT MIKEL R. NIETO
Mikel R. Nieto is an artist, independent researcher and writer from San Sebastián His work focuses on the sociocultural and political aspects of the act of listening and foregrounds field recordings as a means towards a radical and critical practice of phonography. He has frequently collaborated with Audiolab at Arteleku in San Sebastián on projects such as Soinumapa, the Basque Country Sound Map, and Hots! Radio. He has contributed texts on sound, noise, listening and musical networks to the Mediateletipos platform and in 2016 curated and coordinated The Listening Observatory in collaboration with José Luis Espejo and Xabier Erkizia, as part of Donostia / San Sebastián’s European Capital of Culture programmes. His most recent book, A soft hiss of this world (2019), developed in collaboration with anthropologist Tim Ingold and philosopher Carmen Pardo, looks at disappearance through the sound of snowflakes in the landscape, and their description in Finnish language. Dark Sound and A soft hiss of this world are published by Gruenrekorder.