The main entrance of Chapter in the distance, with some plants in the foreground.

Performance

Miranda Whall: When Seeds Speak: A Seedy Ensemble

  • 1h 30m

£12 - £14

Attributes

  • Duration 1h 30m
  • Type Dance

When Seeds Speak: A Seedy Ensemble by Miranda Whall

When Seeds Speak: A Seedy Ensemble will premiere here in September 2024.

Performers Miranda Whall, Owen Lloyd, Neil Luck, Yumino Seki and Angharad Davies will collaborate at the intersection of arts, sciences and farming to tell the story of the recently rediscovered Ceirch du Bach (Black Oat seed) - a resilient crop that once grew on almost every upland farm in Wales. The performance will highlight the grain’s potential to contribute significantly to sustainable farming practices in the face of climate change, and to the broader hyper-local conversation about the management and farming of the uplands of Mid Wales

Together,a visual artist, musician, dancer, musical improviser and composer respond and interact with the raw unprocessed dataset generated by the metabolomic fingerprint analysis of a Black Oat seed as well as conversation, interviews and pre-recorded audio from the lifecycle of the grain - sowing, harvesting, threshing, fermenting, cooking and eating.

An emergent, experimental and improvised performance will evolve from a complex and unique synthesis and generative audio work, revealing the performance-making process and a visual and sonic discovery.

When Seeds Speak: A Seedy Ensemble will offer a non-representational interpretation of the Welsh upland landscape, a creative intervention to an environmental scientific study, and a series of intersemiotic translations - between numerical code and non-verbal language; visual art, music, and dance. The project offers a timely critique on how we understand and manage the complex relationship between nature, scientific data and humans, and how each element influences and is being influenced by the other. It prompts reflection on the often reductive and homogenising narratives inherent to scientific data collection, analysis, and representation, and how it is often shaped by power, biases, and inequalities. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the project reflects on the imbalance between an increasing appetite for scientific data - and its carbon and resource costly management and an alarmingly slower appetite for policy and behavioural change.

The performance builds upon the project When Earth Speaks by Miranda Whall, which was conceived through a NERC funded cross-disciplinary research project: Making the invisible visible: Instrumenting and interpreting an upland landscape for climate change resilience led by Prof Mariecia Fraser from IBERS, Aberystwyth University, and developed through a subsequent NERC funded cross disciplinary research project: Multispecies Politics in Action led by Prof Milja Kurki, Interpol, Aberystwyth University. The scientific research collaborator in When Seeds Speak is Dr Catherine Howarth from IBERS Aberystwyth University, and the fingerprint analysis was funded by the Rural Futures Hub, IBERS Aberystwyth University in partnership with Aber Innovation.

About the artist

Miranda Whall was born in Cardiff, UK. She attended University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, The Royal Academy Schools, and Goldsmiths College, University of London. She has been a recipient of numerous ACE grants, and the ACE funded Berlin residency. She was a recipient of an Arts Council Wales Major Creative Wales Award and an Arts Council Wales Large Production Grant. She has been co-investigator in several recent NERC funded projects. She is a recipient of the inaugural Live Art Rural UK fellowship with the Live Art Development Agency (LADA). Whall has recently directed and performed in a stage production When Earth Speaks: A Dirty Ensemble, Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Solo exhibitions include When Earth Speaks, Vane, Newcastle, Crossed Paths – Sheep, Oriel Davies, Newtown, Passage, Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Art, Bath, is it ok if? Arts Centre Aberystwyth and Crossed Paths – Scots Pine is in the Art Collection, Carlow, Ireland. Miranda Whall is a postgraduate and PhD research supervisor at Aberystwyth University.

When Earth Speaks: A Dirty Ensemble, Unedited live footage by Amdani Films, 8 June 2024.

An experimental, improvised performance and generative audio work, that tells the story of the recently rediscovered Ceirch du Bach (Black Oat seed).

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