Soil Voices; a 24 hour live - stream performance by Miranda Whall

Soil Voices is part of a groundbreaking NERC funded academic discipline hopping project titled Making the invisible visible: Instrumenting and interpreting an upland landscape for climate change resilience.

The Aberystwyth University academic team are Prof Andrew Thomas, Prof Fred Labrosse, Pete Todd and Prof Mariecia

Whall’s collaborative role, as the artist, has been to visualise and present the new high resolution soil sensor technology data beyond traditional statistics, so that the data might have a wider meaning and greater impact. Whall’s approach to responding to the brief has been to offer a new perspective to the scientific research by literally embedding her body into the landscape in order to embody and give a voice to the soil.

Community and stakeholder engagement with scientific data is essential if future decisions on upland land management are to reach a consensus and be successful in helping to provide the local human and non - human communities with what they want and need. This project is about facilitating wider audiences and non-scientists to become part of the conversation about land management and climate change.

Local and global audiences are invited to drop in an out of the 24 hour live- stream, in the hope that by being virtually up close and in the mountain with the soil and Miranda for a few seconds or hours might generate a greater awareness and new perspectives - not only of the nuanced and fluctuating soil conditions, but of human and non-human entanglement, human and non-human interconnectedness, from a socio-cultural and eco-political perspective.

“The Making the invisible visible project seeks to address the multiple challenges met by the uplands as more and higher intensity rainfall, more frequent droughts and warmer temperatures – which increase the likelihood of vegetation fires, soil erosion, flooding and soil carbon depletion-  challenge the uplands, while they are still required to support agricultural livelihoods as well as maintain (and increase) carbon stores, biodiversity and water storage. Because the upland landscape variability presents numerous challenges to gathering, analysing and communicating empirical evidence upon which informed decisions can be made to ensure these goals are met the project will employ new sensor technology at 3 sites to record soil temperature and moisture readings. The high-resolution soil temperature and moisture data from the sensor networks will enable improved modelling of soil greenhouse gas emissions for each site. The data and model outputs will be used to test inter-related hypotheses on how climate and land use affect i) the soil carbon store; ii) soil greenhouse gas emissions; and iii) soil water.”  Prof Mariecia Fraser and Prof Andrew Thomas

This project has been supported by NERC (Natural Environment Research Council), Aberystwyth University and LADA - Live Art in Rural UK (Live Art Development Agency)

Whall wishes to thank Prof Andrew Thomas, Prof Fred Labrosse, Pete Todd and Prof Mariecia for enabling this creative response.

The Project development can be seen on my website –

The Livestream will be available here: