Night Air: Soil Samples
Sonic Acts continues its Night Air series of online transmissions with Soil Samples on Saturday 24 April. This second event of the series includes live talks and performances from 20:00 CEST with Dorsey Kaufmann, Felicity Mangan, Kunal Palawat, Martin Howse and Red Brut, alongside weekend-long screenings of the films Mined Soil (2014) by Filipa César and You Think The Earth Is a Dead Thing (2019) by Florence Lazar.
Night Air is a series of online transmissions that aims to make pollution visible by bringing forth the various side-effects of modernity: from colonial exploitation of people and resources to perpetual inequalities brought about by the destruction of the environment and common land – in other words, destructive capitalist practices that shape both our environment and human-nonhuman relations.
**Night air is a myth with its origins in miasma theory (from the Greek for ‘pollution’). The theory held that smelly air from decaying organic matter caused illness. The smell would intensify and worsen by night, so night air became synonymous with poisonous and noxious vapours that could even cause pandemics such as cholera or plague. Only with developments in medicine and various scientific endeavours around the London cholera epidemic in the mid-1800s, did germs replace the ‘unhealthy fog’ as the culprit for diseases. And now, even though the idea has been abandoned, night air still echoes in words such as malaria (‘bad air’ in Italian), which actually connects air-borne poison with flying pests such as the disease-carrying mosquitoes.