The concept of polyphonic assemblage is a rich metaphorical tool for thinking about biodiversity in art and science. Drawing from Elizabeth Grosz’s 2008 text, Chaos, Territory, Art, this talk introduced several aural ideas for ecological thought including evolution as musical bricolage, organisms as instruments, and the relationship between territories and refrains. The talk closed with a brief interactive exercise designed to counter the common assumption that deserts are devoid of sound by considering the polyphonic assemblages that can be found in these places.
Laurie White is a curator and writer from Sheffield, England, currently based in Vancouver. She holds an MA in Critical & Curatorial Studies from the University of British Columbia. Her thesis exhibition project at Or Gallery, We Built a House Out of the Things We Had Gathered (2018), explored salvage and bricolage as modes of ecological practice in contemporary art. She is currently the Assistant Curator at the Or Gallery.
Photo taken by Caitlin Chaisson