Artwork: ‘By the code of soil’ by Kasia Molga and Scanner
Twice daily the European Space Agency’s flagship satellite, Sentinel-1A maps the land and sea, capturing things like forestry, agriculture and weather conditions to support climate prediction modelling. Across Europe, thousands of GROW Observatory soil sensors have been deployed by citizens to improve the accuracy of these observations from space. The GROW Observatory (GROW) is a European-wide project engaging thousands of growers, scientists and others passionate about the land. Using simple tools to better manage soil and grow food, while contributing to vital scientific environmental monitoring.
Artists Kasia Molga and Scanner have worked with the GROW Observatory to represent the connection between soil and space through a unique, data-driven digital artwork. Presented on 5 December 2018, the World Soil Day – a special day to raise awareness and call people to stop soil pollution – By the Code of Soil is an online networked digital artwork which invites you to experience soil through a uniquely data-driven generated audio-visual representation on a laptop or desktop computer.
Scanner documents that it has been a colossal challenge to try and illustrate all the live data that streams through the App. Using Native Instruments Reaktor and GRM Tools software I spent many, many hours designing sounds, mapping them into families of sound. These sounds were frequently edited down to just 300ms, to judge how they might balance with the visuals.
Kasia Molga states that By the Code of Soil is about handing power over to the land – to soil – and depicting it as a first and foremost living organism; not as a resource whose capacity must be maximised for our own benefits. Soil, with all its myriad of processes happening there all the time, is like a matrix of the computer – an invisible force and organisational structure binding all components of the biosphere together.
In times when in westernised societies we feel most detached from the soil and the earth that grounds us, it’s interesting to see initiatives like this that aim to reconnects us with what was seen as one of the sources of life.
Text by CLOT Magazine (Twitter @clotmagazine)
(Media courtesy of Future Everything)