Saša Spačal & Ida Hiršenfelder
Sonoseismic Earth


Aksioma | Project Space
Komenskega 18, Ljubljana

22 February – 10 March 2017
Opening hours: TUE-FRI 12 pm – 6 pm

Exhibition opening: Wednesday, 22 February 2017 at 7 pm


The responsive kinetic installation Sonoseismic Earth presents Earth in the age of the Anthropocene, the geological epoch of industrial societies. It is an age that has witnessed disruptions in the earth’s systems on a planetary scale. The crisis of the planet is marked by climate change; loss of biodiversity; pollution of the sea, land and air; exploitation of natural resources; and heavy depletion of soil. The global capitalist structure of the world does not allow human beings to act globally, or to counter the planetary crisis produced by inevitable consumption. The obsolescence and, consequently, accumulation of waste are inscribed in every product. Non-renewable energy sources are the driving force of globalism. They all cause seismic shifts: the depletion of fossil fuels creates cavities in the lithosphere, accumulation lakes generate pressure on it, and accidents in nuclear reactors cause tectonic cracks.

Sonoseismic Earth makes a possible entry into a planetary perspective, into the sensual and haptic relationship between the human and the planet. The depletion of fossil fuels in the earth’s crust causes tectonic cracks; hence, in the installation, the globe is gradually polluted. The rendering of seismographic shifts intensifies with the proximity of human beings detected by sensors. The planet emits the infrasonic sound of earthquakes; it submerges the human in the ubiquitous acoustic space with no identifiable origin. The infrasonic sound is a warning frequency, recognised by the more sensitive beings as a sign of danger. With the acoustic environment of the Sonoseismic Earth, humans are caught actively and experientially in the drama of the endless circulation of capital. The crisis of the planet is the crisis of the system.

Sonoseismic Earth tries to condense the effect of the fossil fuel industry into an experience of carbon war waged against all life forms on the planet. Such violence makes itself visible in an abrupt and unpredictable way. At the forefront of this war is the global distribution of water, which has been profoundly influenced by climate changes, global warming, and invasive and toxic fossil fuel extractions such as fracking. Equal disruption of water is further violated by privatisation of water resources and deprivation of a large number of living organisms from having access to their basic needs. The mechanism in the installation contains a solution of water and fossil fuels that is squeezed out of the globe and produces a poignant odor in the surroundings, making the pollution tangible for the senses. The water is not cleaned, as it is part of a planetary metabolic rift. The things humans consume do not rejuvenate or replenish through the metabolic processes of the earth. Products are discarded as toxic waste and end up in the bodies of organic creatures, amassing in landfills, polluting the oceans. The metabolic rift may only be overcome in millions of years. One of the candidates for replenishment of the earth’s fossil fuel reserves is a living product, an industrial chicken. Due to mass production, it is predicted that the industrial chicken will be the model fossilised organism of the Anthropocene. By putting the bones of industrial chickens into the polluted water-oil solution, Sonoseismic Earth announces the replenishing of fossil fuels in the distant future. However, it cannot announce human existence.


Saša Spačal and Ida Hiršenfelder

Associate professionals:

Mirjan Švagelj, Anil Podgornik

Production and development of the artwork:

KID Kibla, Maribor, 2015 and Aksioma, Ljubljana, 2017

Production of the exhibition:

Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2017

Artistic Director: Janez Janša
Producer: Marcela Okretič
Executive Producer: Sonja Grdina
Public Relations: Urša Purkart
Technician: Valter Udovičić
Documentation: Jure Goršič

Supported by:

the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana

Aksioma | Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana


Saša Spačal

Saša Spačal is a post-media artist with a background in the humanities; she currently works at the intersection of living systems research and media art. Her work focuses on a post-human environment, in which humans exist and function as one of the elements in an ecosystem, and not as its sovereign. The artist has been featured at festivals and venues such as the Ars Electronica Festival, the Prix Cube Exhibition, Eyebeam, the Onassis Cultural Center Athens, the Pixelache Festival, the Cynetart Festival, the ThingWorld Triennial - National Art Museum of China, the Device_art Festival, the Eastern Bloc Gallery, the Art Laboratory Berlin, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, the Kapelica Gallery, the Kiblix Festival, the Sonica Festival, the Gallery of Contemporary Art Celje, the Enter Festival, the Amber Festival and elsewhere. The artist’s solo exhibition Symbiome - Economy of Symbiosis with an overview of her work was held at Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova +MSUM in 2016. For her work she has received an Honorary Mention at the Ars Electronica Prix 2015, and was nominated for the Prix Cube 2016. MORE...

Ida Hiršenfelder

Ida Hiršenfelder is a Ljubljana-based curator who also works as an artist in the field of sound and media art. She focuses on the history of media, archives, their disappearance and media archeology. She is a collaborator of +MSUM Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova for Network Museum online aggregator of contemporary art archives. Since 2011, she is a member of Theremidi Orchestra noise collective, creating sonic landscapes and collaborates with media artist Saša Spačal on a series of sonoseismic installations (Crust 2014, Earth 2015). With Saša Spačal she also co-initiated ČIPke – Initiative for Women with a Sense for Technology, Science and Art. Her work Time Displacement – Chemobrionic Garden, created with co-artists Robertina Šebjanič and Aleš Hieng – Zergon first presented at Aksioma Project Space, has been presented on Ars Electronica festival (2016) in the context of Radical Atoms exhibition and at Device_art 5.016 in Montreal. MORE...