DUST – Pilot Episode: Encountering the Hyperobject
Six sonic explorations of human enmeshment in an expanded ecology

How can we humans of the Anthropocene learn to understand the interdependence of our and other life forms and bio-/geological systems across deep time and space?

Encountering the Hyperobject is an ongoing sound composition/radio podcast series that connects social science, artistic research, sound art, and ecologies through the geo-philosophical concept of hyperobjects; “things that are massively distributed in time and space relative to humans” (Morton, 2013) while both affecting and affected by the lives we live in the present. Hyperobjects can be anything from global warming, to nuclear materials or plastic bags. 

The project takes up Morton’s call for humans to “upgrade [our] ontological tools” and tries to attune its audiences to vital hyperobjects via a sonic language that mixes narrative, field-recordings, ambience, dialogue, music and interviews. Each of the planned six episodes engages and researches a specific hyperobject across Nordic and Arctic landscapes and localities. 

The first episode, DUST, is under development and a work-in-progress version was presented at Inter Arts Center Malmö as a live lecture-performance and immersive sound-installation in December 2017. The performance was followed by an open discussion, the whole event lasting circa 60 minutes. Encountering the Hyperobject is a collaboration between social scientist and artistic researcher Christina Berg Johansen (DK) and sound artist and artistic researcher Eduardo Abrantes (PT/SE).



NEITAR AÐ FORÐAST / REFUSE TO REFRAIN (Ísafjörður, Iceland, 2017)


There are two things about working artistically with sound that are particularly inspiring to me. One is that your materials are found anywhere. Another is that they usually gain by becoming displaced.

When you record sounds outside in nature, and then later listen to them, join them, and manipulate them in some kind of indoors-domestic environment, you are effectively dabbling in alchemy. You are making connections, you are separating what is together, you are unfolding vibrating immateriality into physical presence. You are also allowed to do all of this without using words.

During November 2017, staying in Ísafjörður at ArtsIceland Residency, I have created a series of short sound pieces. All of them include sounds recorded on location, most often transformed beyond recognition. Some are pulsing, quick and noisy, others slow, repetitive and quiet – most of them are both because I enjoy contrast. Listener, you are welcome to be curious, you are welcome to be bored, you are welcome.

This series of dual channel compositions was first performed before a live audience, at Edinborgarhúsið on November 28. Three of the thirteen compositions – Foom Foom Bloom, Krílið and Vegna Næturinnar – can be heard below.

This residency was made possible by financial support from the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture.

mobility_programme_horizontal-1 kopi.jpg


SUPERNATURAL SOLICITING (Copenhagen, Denmark, 2016)

Supernatural Soliciting – 7# in “Some Days Series” – a series of short situated sound experiments. Copenhagen, June 2016.

A gathering of sonic digressions through the flat landscape of the remote island of Læsø, in the northeast coast of Jutland peninsula, Denmark. Supernatural Soliciting borrows its title from a line in Macbeth, where friction between omens and expectations leads to crisis. It exudes longing, instants of playfulness and a sense of mystery manifest in improvised synchronicity.

(photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes)

HOLLY ROLLERS (Copenhagen, Denmark, 2016)

Holly Rollers – 6# in “Some Days Series” – a series of short situated sound experiments. Copenhagen, April 2016.

A series of every day actions and sound impressions gathered from the place called neighbourhood. Holly Rollers brings almost-melodies into contact with a deep-layered awareness of the surrounding rhythms, and the strange closeness of anonymity between those inhabiting them. It explores eavesdropping as a creative strategy.

(photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes)

UNPAIRED GLOVES (Stockholm, Sweden, 2016)

Unpaired Gloves – 5# in “Some Days Series” – a series of short situated sound experiments. Stockholm, March 2016. (headphones required for full binaural experience)

Gloves unpaired at the edge of the woods. Left behind by someone. Picked up by someone else and propped on low tree branches, waiting in plain sight. Like second skins, from metamorphosed distracted wanderers. Also, a song from a memory of a song heard – Portishead’s “It’s A Fire” – layering vocal rituals with the deep binaural situation of body becoming surface and friction.

(photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes)


photo by Eduardo Abrantes - Kärrtorp, Stockholm, 2015

Sister Brother Agatha Darkness – 4# in “Some Days Series” – a series of short situated sound experiments. Stockholm, March 2016.

Faux-goth sensibilities fractured by 4am introspection. Sister Brother Agatha Darkness moves between dense social atmospheres and the off-beat suspenseful instinct for interruption. As a sound body it lurks, ritually gasping in tangible shyness and awkward self-awareness, while basking in cinematic associations. It is about subtle exhibitionism and wearing proudly one’s garland of imperfections.

(photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes)

LAVA AND DISHWATER (Stockholm, Sweden, 2016)

Lava And Dishwater – 3# in “Some Days Series” – a series of short situated sound experiments. Stockholm, March 2016.

A meditation on the shattering of domesticity through the need to create. Lava and Dishwater experiments with spoken/sung word as sheer acoustic physicality. Two vocal samples – Sylvia Plath reading “Fever 103” and Etta James warming up to “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” – combine with a heavy, moist rainy weather drone. Entwined, they bring up the dual potential of voice for both disembodiment and self-revelation.

(photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes)

DEADER THAN DADA (Copenhagen, Denmark, 2016)

Deader Than Dada – 2# in “Some Days Series” – a series of short situated sound experiments. Copenhagen, February 2016.

A sample of meaning stretched between contrasting contexts. Deader Than Dada is a dialogue between two sound memories, and the rhythmic field of expectation connecting them both. Treasuring mood and physicality, it carries the double meaning of the vital need to leave something behind. It is not a song, but it is a pact made between a listener, a singer and a window opener.

(drawing and photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes)

SALT SAND SNOW STEPPER (Copenhagen, Denmark, 2016)

Salt Sand Snow Stepper – 1# in “Some Days Series” – a series of short situated sound experiments. Copenhagen, February 2016.

Weather and own body mass as texture generators. Salt Sand Snow Stepper is an expansive micro-landscape of layered acoustic perceptions. Its nature is mineral, both that which lives within and without the body. Salt like sand, stepping like onto snow – it gathers discrete memories of pleasure in progress against wind, tiredness, boredom and the nurturing anxiety of the creative act.

(photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes)