Spectral Listening


How to listen to ecosystems in transformation? How to attune to the resonances of distant shores or the frequencies of pasts and futures in the here and now? Can you hear and sense the glaciers moving through time, carving the imaginaries of lands and seas, geological but also political and economic? What does the post-glacial rebound of Earth sound like and who can viscerally hear it? Whose voices are signalling climate emergency? What reverberates through the silences?

Spectral Listening retreat was an invitation to pause and listen to, on and with the island of Seili. The retreat gathered artists and researchers for two days to engage with different methods and modes of listening. The programme was loosely structured around walks, exercises and conversations aimed at tuning in to where and when are we amidst the changing archipelago.

Biologist Jasmin Inkinen of the Archipelago Research Institute guided the group to listen to the island environment, its diverse habitats and inhabitants. The retreat was facilitated by curator Taru Elfving and researcher Anastasia (A) Khodyreva. The participants were all ears on the shifting shorelines and restored meadows, in the nut grove and a tiny swamp hidden high up on the rocks, while sharing their own listening practices and experimenting with others.

Reflections on the retreat  can be read in the essay Attempts in Spectral Listening by Anastasia (A) Khodyreva in conversation with the participants. 

CAA  organised the Spectral Listening retreat in collaboration with the Archipelago Research Institute and it served as one of the pre-echos to the second edition of the Listening Biennial. The retreat continued the series of events How do you know what you know? Exercises in Attentiveness, produced by CAA as part of the project Spectres in Change, supported by the Kone Foundation, the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland and the Oskar Öflund Foundation.