Experience ‘The Planting’ at The Goods Shed

Zoe Scoglio recording Kathryn Coff speaking from 2029 for The Planting. Photo: Alex Kelly.
Zoe Scoglio recording Kathryn Coff speaking from 2029 for The Planting. Photo: Alex Kelly.

The Planting will be presented in The Goods Shed during the Castlemaine State Festival April 6, 7 and 8.
An immersive audio work in the form of a sound-feature, The Planting is directed by Castlemaine based artist and filmmaker Alex Kelly.
At once a speculative documentary and deep listening experience, the piece is set in 2029 and explores the future impacts of climate change, social movements and caring for Country across the continent of so-called Australia.
In a series of interviews interwoven with soundscapes across time, the work takes audiences on a journey through visions of other futures.
The work features interviews with Yuin man Bruce Pascoe, Yorta Yorta woman Kathryn Coff, Barkindji woman Zena Cumpston, Canadian journalist Naomi Klein and traditional fire practitioners Jason Smith and Danny Gardner, with field recordings from Landcare plantings on Djaara Country, of bird life on Wadawurrung, the Gulidjan and the Gadubanud Country and features traditional burning workshops in lutruwita (Tasmania).
Composed and sound designed by Lawrence Harvey of RMIT’s Spatial Information Architecture Lab, The Planting has been created for a spatialised ‘speaker orchestra. Audiences are seated inside an array of 20 speakers and experience the sound as a journey through time.
“Now more than ever we need to imagine other possible futures,” Alex Kelly said.
“The Planting is one such experiment in practicing the art of imagination. This work was a complete joy to create through the covid lockdowns of 20-21 and I am delighted to be presenting it at home to my community as part of the CSF”.
Created over three years and completed in Castlemaine as part of a FURTHER residency, it weaves together interviews with real people improvising their future selves, reflecting on political conditions, cultural shifts and social changes throughout the 2020s.
The Planting had its world premiere in 2022 at Storey Hall in Melbourne for ANAT SPECTRA 2022: Multiplicity, presented by the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT).
The Planting is a project of The Things We Did Next, a collaborative practice exploring futures to come in the era of climates changed and changing.

Jade Jungwirth
Jade is the former Editor of the Tarrangower Times and has lived in the region for over 16 years.