Artistic performance to explore interplay between science and the natural world

08 May 2024

Humans' complex relationship with the natural world will be explored in a new theatre production by an Aberystwyth artist and lecturer at Aberystwyth Arts Centre next month.

‘When Earth Speaks: A Dirty Ensemble’ is a multimedia performance directed by Miranda Whall which seeks to show how the arts can raise awareness of the climate crisis. 

The multidimensional production will integrate science, nature, technology, and art.

It will bring together musicians, a Butoh dancer, a visual artist, and robotics.  The performance will also draw on data generated by soil sensors located high in the Cambrian Mountains, 600m above sea level.

Miranda Whall said: “This will be an immersive performance like no other, as artists and audience alike experience a unique, real-time interaction with the natural environment.

“As scientific data from high in the Cambrian Mountains is broadcast live into the theatre, the emergent, dynamic, and unpredictable performance will evolve in real-time as the performers respond to the landscape, each other, the fluctuations and patterns of the data, the changes and rhythms of the earth and the soil ecosystem.

“The performance will offer a timely critique on how we understand and manage the complex entangled relationship between nature, scientific data, and humans, and how each element influences and is being influenced by the other.”

When Earth Speaks was conceived through two Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded cross-disciplinary research projects at Aberystwyth University: ‘Making the invisible visible: Instrumenting and interpreting an upland landscape for climate change resilience’ led by Professor Mariecia Fraser from the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, and ‘Multispecies Politics in Action’ led by Professor Milja Kurki from the Department of International Politics. The performance is funded by the Live Art Development Agency.

‘When Earth Speaks: A Dirty Ensemble’, takes place at 7pm on Saturday 8 June in Theatr y Werin, Aberystwyth Arts Centre.  Tickets are available from: