Saturday 22nd May 2021 to
Sunday 13th June 2021
Feral Practice & Esi Eshun's Lissener is a darkly comic audio work responding to the ruined Oare Gunpowder Works, Oare Creek and Oare Marshes. Oare’s explosive past intertwines with diverse natural histories in this watery world, disturbing the expected hierarchies between species and states of being. The creaturely cast of characters includes Noctule bats, wading birds, a Bamboo Worm and a Southern Hawker dragonfly. Words and stories are inserted into broader rhythms. If the concept ‘soundscape’ prioritizes the sounds that mammals hear, the term ‘vibroscape’ suggests an expanded world, in which we are just one kind of being with a pair of ears, in a world of differently-eared and non-eared, sensitive and vibratory, sensing and speaking beings. Alongside narrative, the artists use alternative field recording technologies such as hydrophones and contact microphones to access nonhuman kinds of vibrational experience. Vibrant material meetings and exchanges occur at every level of our bodies and worlds but often go unregarded, or unknown. If we sensitize ourselves (as vegetal philosopher Michael Marder advises) to the fuzzy edges of our subjectivity in order to meet beings very different to ourselves, might it be in the ‘wilds’ of the imagination that we can better re-align with nonhuman nature? Lissener further develops themes of Feral Practice's 2020 moving image work Sum Tyms Bytin Sum Tyms Bit (screening online as part of Estuary 2021) which draws resonance between themes of power, fragility and exploitation in Kent's landscapes, and the forces at work in Russell Hoban's cult 1980 novel Riddley Walker. Gunpowder, and its fatal allure, is a defining seam that runs through the novel.