Liquid Architecture: Mangrove, Casuarina, Cotton Tree, Palm

135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise Qld

One of many projects in series Why Listen? by
Liquid Architecture
12–4pm, Sunday 4 Nov 2018

'Quintessentially Gold Coast plants are actually very vocal'

Image: Renata Buziak, collage Jaye Carcary

Indige­nous per­spec­tives and phi­los­o­phy by Aunty Mary Graham.
Sound, Art, science, literature and more by:
Libby Har­ward, Danni Zuvela, Monica Gagliano , Leah Bar­clay, David Spooner, Tiafau + Will D. Ness, Michelle Xen, Mutual Making (Caitlin Franz­mann and Dhana Mer­ritt).

From Liquid Architecture website:
(Why Listen?)
The Gold Coast is home many dif­fer­ent plants which thrive in the unlikely envi­ron­ment of salt­wa­ter ecosys­tems. Man­grove com­mu­ni­ties sup­port mil­lions upon mil­lions of lives. Casuar­i­nas – also called she-oaks – spread their needle-shaped scale-leaves in a fine carpet to smother other veg­e­ta­tion, vitally sup­port­ing the healthy bal­ance of wet­lands by keep­ing other plant encroach­ment in check. She-oak nuts are also the only food that black cock­a­toos feed upon. Cotton trees – beach hibis­cus – also grow in the inter­tidal zone, where their bark has tra­di­tion­ally been used for string, their roots hold sand­banks together and their canopy shields and pro­tects aquatic life. Palm trees are another lim­i­nal species, sym­bol­is­ing the Coastal dream of water­front prop­erty own­er­ship but also the evic­tion of old, unruly gar­dens for an aspi­ra­tional aes­thetic of man­i­cured shade­less­ness.

Far from being silenced, these quin­tes­sen­tially Gold Coast plants are actu­ally very vocal, speak to sys­tems beyond botany – wider ecolo­gies and nar­rower economies – acting as sym­bols to spark our dia­logues about plant-human rela­tions on the Glit­ter Strip. Through a series of co-oper­a­tive per­for­mances, open con­ver­sa­tions and tea-drink­ing, this pro­gram of plant-lis­ten­ing unfolds over an after­noon at Home of the Arts.

Dr Mary Graham will speak about plants within indige­nous per­spec­tives and phi­los­o­phy.

Libby Har­ward, who is a Ngugi woman from the Quan­damooka, will give an artist talk and lead a kayak lis­ten­ing tour with LA’s Danni Zuvela, through sites of occu­pa­tion and botan­i­cal sub­jec­tiv­i­ties.

The world’s lead­ing plant bioa­coustic sci­en­tist, Monica Gagliano (Perth) will give a read­ing and thoughts from her latest book, the phyto-biog­ra­phy Thus Spoke the Plant (North Atlantic Books (released Novem­ber 13, 2018).

Leah Bar­clay will respond to Monica’s book with a loca­tive sound instal­la­tion explor­ing the acoustic ecol­ogy beneath the sur­face of the soil. Acces­si­ble by mobile devices, the instal­la­tion will include live streams with micro­phones buried (‘planted’) deep in the ground beneath the Home of the Arts site.

David Spooner’s queer­ing of plant dis­course will con­sider dom­i­nat­ing envi­ron­ments; veg­e­tal-human abun­dance; vis­i­bil­ity, audi­bil­ity and mas­culin­ity; and what it might mean to grow in the wrong con­text, or flour­ish in bal­ance.

Through­out the day, Mutual Making (Caitlin Franz­mann and Dhana Mer­ritt) will gen­er­ate a space for con­ver­sa­tion and the cre­ation and shar­ing of plant wisdom and expe­ri­ences, includ­ing tea drink­ing, div­ina­tion read­ings and talk­ing.

This event takes place on the sov­er­eign lands of the Yugam­beh people.

Co-presented by Liquid Architecture and HoTA Supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund

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