Waste Archeoacoustics | Philippe Vandal

“Waste Archaeoacoustics is a small solar powered device that sonifies telluric currents. This methodology has been used for the past 20 years for subsoil prospecting; these currents are disturbed by geomorphological activities and by the soil heterogeneous compositions. Placed on the Baldwin Park South end, the device speculatively picks the telluric disruptions brought by the geological gap made by the waste found in the former landfill. Between 1907 and 1924, the site was a dump for municipal waste, and since, biogas spills have been pouring down into phreatic zones, contaminating soils and underground infrastructures, and ultimately environments and their inhabitants. Baldwin Park is one of 80 sites - former landfills, garbage dumps and quarries - that have been reported by CBC Montreal in 2015. The majority of these contaminated sites are now covered by public parks, homes, and even schools; out of sight from everyday life. Several court cases are still being held against the city of Montreal for their lack of transparency.

Waste Archaeoacoustics acts as an alarm for critical abject entanglements, reminding the unfortunate long-lasting properties of forgotten matter and their environmental repercussions. By engaging with the land through sensing technologies ubiquitous in extractive projects, the device urges alternative geo-logics, cycles of matter(ing), and ethics of environmental vulnerability.”

The real power of site-specific work is that it somehow activates, or engages with, the narratives of the site in some kind of way. (Pearson)