Swamps and Stars

What might it mean to listen beyond the human? Is it possible to reorient our sensing, and understanding of voice, to extend more boldly toward other life forms? Can artistic practices and performance open pathways of co-existence and trans-species collaboration so as to nurture biodiverse sustainability and worlding? Bringing together artists, musicians, ecologists,and educators to create and perform, nurture and grow innovative approaches to ecological interconnectivity, the project aims at sounding out new forms of planetary practice. This includes addressing a spectrum of ecologies. From swamp environments to soil networks, atmospheric elements to animal worlds, each ecology acts as a creative framework for developing and presenting new artistic work and research which can bring audiences into greater engagement with more-than-human life. By combining artistic presentation,scientific research, and workshop situations, the project both raises questions and offers new experiences, forging a critical and creative ground for experimenting with human and more-than-human encounters and entanglements.

Central to the project is a focus on listening, and how listening can act as a channel or means for upsetting human exceptionalism. As many artists and scholars indicate, listening supports empathic understanding across diverse communities and is vital to forms of social recognition and learning. As part of this, listening brings attention to the often unseen worlds that surround human society, including the minute creatures that co-inhabit much of our architectures as well as the greater movements of natural forces such as plant ecologies. Listening, as the anthropologist Anna Tsing argues, allows for noticing the planetary interconnectivities of which humans are a part. Following Tsing, the project aims at bringing audiences into forms of creative noticing across a variety of ecologies found in the city of Berlin. Each event of the project will be situated at specific locations, at certain times of the year, bringing our attention to the biodiverse particularities of the city. By sifting through the wet soils of swamps to gazing at the stars and atmospheres above, we’ll uncover the greater ecologies of life that make-up Berlin’s creative cultures.

Swamps and Stars – Program

Spring: on wetlands and emergent life

May 12, 15:00-18:00 @ Tiefwerder Wiesen

Daniela Medina Poch, To un-know that green is green – a workshop-drift around embodied listening and interspecies entanglements in conversation with the Berlin Tieferwerden Wiesen.

May 13, 19:00-22:00 @ Bruno H. Bürgel Observatory, Heerstraße 531, 13593 Berlin

lectures and performances with Ally Bisshop, Adriana Knouf, Felicity Mangan

Summer: on feral landscapes

July 28, 19:00-22:00 @ Errant Sound

lectures and performances with Alexandra Toland, Jason Kahn and Peter Strickmann

July 29, 13:00-21:00 @ Rathausblock

workshop and performances with Ela Spalding, Kamaru, Carla Boregas  

Fall: on roots, rocks and atmospheric energies

Locations:  Spreepark and Archenhold Observatory (tbc)

Contributors: Monaí de Paula Antunes, Marcela Moraga, Sam Hertz (and more tbc)

Winter: on worlding and dreaming

Locations:  (tbc)

Contributors: Hoooops, Daniela de Paulis, Nicole L’Huillier (and more tbc)

Swamps & Stars is developed and organized by Kat Austen, Miguel Buenrostro, Kate Donovan, Florence Freitag, Brandon LaBelle & Michelle-Marie Letelier as part of Planetary Listening, a collective of artists and researchers based in Berlin. The series is supported by the Berlin Senate’s Spartenoffene Förderung.



Cotheniusstrasse 6, 10407 Berlin

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