a sonic topography of breath as it’s intimately passed between the vegetal and the flesh
Air is the passing of breath between bodies, it holds the hauntings of plant and animal when they were once entwined. Here in Val Taleggio, where almost every inch of the landscape is forest, that breath is deep. As the leaves clean the air they clean our breath and as roots seek fresh soil our minds wonder. Nothing but Bark and Bone seeks to make audible the breath between human and vegetal worlds. Sound draws our attention to the spaces in between, moments when one thing becomes another and where identity folds in on itself.
In three sound compositions, skin, roots and lungs, I look to blur the boundaries between our fleshy and vegetal bodies. This is not only a celebration of this symbiotic relationship that has spanned hundreds of thousands of years but also an activist stance towards the cleaning of our air, and therefore our breath. I propose that to care for our bodies is to develop an awareness of our vegetal selves, we would not even have hands if there weren’t branches to hold onto.
Beth Robertson is a sound artist based in London and Glasgow. Her practice traverses boundaries of sound, ecology and geography in an interdisciplinary investigation into the testimonies of the more-than-human. Through the use of field recordings, photography and music she creates sound maps that explore local ecologies and experiments with playful interactive mediums of listening in order to challenge the ways in which we interact with our environment. The aim of her work is to follow the ghosts and unsettle the silences of the Anthropocene.
Beth was selected for the UAL Arts for the Environment Residency Programme at NAHR.