Within the framework of this project, tree stumps are regarded as witnesses to the ecological and anthropogenic changes resulting from land development, extractive capitalism, and climate change. Despite being seemingly devoid of life, felled trees and their stumps are in fact connected to underground forest ecologies and are part of sprawling fungal and bacterial networks through which plants communicate and send out signals that are not immediately graspable by the human ear. Shifting the acoustic experience of listening to one that is attuned to the sonic manifestation of non-human organisms, the artist will attempt to translate these signals into audible frequencies that merge deep listening and site-specificity. Furthermore, drawing parallels between the organic plant networks and the structure of printed circuit board (PCB), she will also map various sonic and spatial trajectories of plant sensing, survival, and communication.
In the first episode of AiRCAST, NTU CCA Singapore curator Dr Anna Lovecchio speaks to Artist-in-Residence Tini Aliman about how her sonic practice revolves around a close listening of the natural environment. Tini shares about the experience of growing up in a fast-developing city, her encounters with nature, the human and other-than-human sources of inspiration for her work, and the sonification of tree stumps she is experimenting with during the residency. As a special treat to our ears, the conversation is punctuated with excerpts from her recordings.
Working at the intersection of film, sound, theatre, and installation and often through collaborative projects, the sonic and spatial experiments of Tini Aliman (b. 1980, Singapore) focus on forest networks and plant consciousness, bioacoustics and biodata sonification. Her recent projects and collaborations have been presented at Free Jazz III: Sound. Walks., NTU CCA Singapore (2021); An Exercise of Meaning in a Glitch Season, National Gallery Singapore (2020); Sound Kite Orchestra, Biennale Urbana, Venice, Italy and Stories We Tell to Scare Ourselves With, Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, Taiwan (both 2019).
Contributor: Tini Aliman
Conducted by: Anna Lovecchio
Programme Manager: Kristine Tan
Sound Engineer: Rudi Osman
Intro & Outro Music: Tini Aliman
Cover Image & Design: Arabelle Zhuang, Kristine Tan
9:11: Recording of plants in Fort Canning Park, Aug 2018. Courtesy the artist.
17: 20: Audio excerpt from Plants emit sound when stressed, ILTV Israel News, Dec 11, 2018, https://youtu.be/5YHnVdA2ZG8
24:01: Audio excerpt from Zarina Muhammad, Flowers of our Bloodlines, lecture performance, NTU CCA Singapore, 2017. Courtesy the artist.
26:35: Audio excerpt from Tini Aliman, Pokoknya, performance, 17 January 2020, NTU CCA Singapore. Courtesy the artist.
30:37: Audio excerpt from Tini Aliman, Pokoknya: Organic Cancellation, 2020, mixed media installation. Courtesy the artist.
36:08: Sounds from Tini Aliman’s studio. Courtesy the artist.
44:54: Underground sounds from the forest at Gillman Barracks captured by Tini Aliman with a geophone, August 2021. Courtesy the artist.
49:06: Field recordings of a walk through the forest at Gillman Barracks, December 2020. Courtesy the artist.