Reassemble Lab: Sound Ecologies

25 October - 30 October (physical)


Reassemble Part 2: Sound Ecologies

Experiences to sense environments in transformation

The second part within FIBER Festival’s Reassemble lab explored the potential of (spatial) sound experiences to investigate and sense ecological processes and landscapes in transformation. With Sound Ecologies we boosted interdisciplinary collaborations between artists, designers, researchers,  musicians, ecologists and scientists in order to raise awareness or make experienceable the invisible effects of the Anthropocene.

The program provided a combination of lectures, workshops, and fieldwork to support group research and work development. 

The physical lab took place from 25 to 30 October in The Netherlands.

We invited makers and thinkers who are active in sound, ecology-focused art and the environmental humanities. For example artists, designers, musicians, ecologists and a wide variety of scientists who work with, or are interested in, the medium of sound in the broadest sense of the word to conduct research and craft new perspectives. Together, we will investigated Borssele, an area in the Netherlands where we set out to capture the often untraceable interactions between industry, engineering and ecology. 


Publications & readings on Sound Ecologies

  • Things at the same time: Creating work during Sound Ecologies Lab
    16/12/2021 Gizem Senturk
    Ecologies of the Unseen
    11/01/2022 Medium, by Rhian Morris
    The day has come where our forgotten histories wash up on the shore.
    01/03/2022 Medium, by Rhian Morris

Invited Artists

  • Territorial Agency [NL]
    Artist talk Part of: Lecture programme
    Theun Karelse [NL]
    Artist talk Part of: Lecture programme
    Annika Kappner [NL]
    Artist talk Part of: Lecture programme
    Anna Volkmar [NL]
    Artist talk Part of: Lecture programme
    Jana Winderen [NL]
    Artist talk Part of: Lecture programme
    Sharon Stewart [NL]
    Artist talk Part of: Lecture programme
    Yolanda Uriz Elizalde [NL]
    Artist talk Part of: Lecture programme

What will you research?

The technocratic landscape of the late Holocene

The content of the program is both technical, situated and theoretical, moving between working with software, data, field research and discussing and designing with ecological knowledge. Within Sound Ecologies we will focus on investigating a context and a related case: the area around the Borssele nuclear power plant.

Read Full Artistic Statement ‘The technocratic landscape of the late Holoscene’ (Xandra van der Eijk) here .

Below a summary:

In the Netherlands, a landscape is considered a non-fixed entity that can be utilised, adjusted, reshaped and reworked. Its earth layers, built up over millions of years, are redistributed at will, their materialities chaotically re-organised into a non-linear timeline. In the last 150 years, technological development has increasingly enabled the Dutch to pursue domination over land and sea, earning them a questionable reputation as “masters of water”. It is a carefully crafted narrative of technological development, of progress and victory. Yet nearing the end of the Holocene, in the border zone of transition, other narratives emerge.

Research trip to Borssele
In one particular part of the Netherlands, a small beach outcrop in the Zeeland peninsula, sound stitches all narratives together. Both onshore and offshore, vibration moves with, between and through everything that exists. Against a backdrop of windmills and the Borssele nuclear facilities, and situated at one of the world’s economically most important waterways, the place emits a constant humming, a grunting, a grinding.

We will immerse ourselves in this technocratic landscape and ask ourselves: What is transition in a place that is never static and where time is non-linear? Can we attune ourselves to the complexity of realities unfolding? Who is vibrating, how can their tune be detected, and how can their story be told?

What is Reassemble?

FIBER Festival’s Lab for Art Technology and Ecology

Do you strive to bring awareness to multi-layered and interdependent ecologies? Do you want to perceive reality through sensorial experiences and explore more-than-human futures? Are you curious to share knowledge between makers and thinkers and work with technology in interdisciplinary ways? If so, we invite you to gather and reassemble.

Reassemble is FIBER Festival’s new multi-year lab programme that will connect the festival editions. The lab strives to contribute to our understanding of great planetary challenges by supporting artistic makers and inquisitive thinkers in prototyping new (collaborative) works and ways of knowing. This takes place in partnership with research institutions and other cultural organisations. 

The lab offers multi-day programmes consisting of workshops, collaborative working sessions, field trips, discussions and public programmes. Various topics and developments are explored in thematic blocks – called ‘Parts’ – and a wide variety of tool(kits) and methods are exchanged. In 2021, the first two Parts will take place, leading up to a new FIBER Festival edition.

Reassemble believes in the civic agency of a new generation of audiovisual artists, designers, coders, performers and researchers who are materialising and speculating about mutual interactions between humans, and regenerative relationships between ourselves and our environment.

Reassemble is supported by Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst and Stimuleringsfonds. Design by Mary Universe (Mary Ponomareva).


Critical Tool Analysis

Parallel to the ‘making’, Sound Ecologies critically reflects on the historical and sociopolitical contexts in which digital tools are created and the contemporary (digital) cultures they are part of. The ways in which technological developments shape a multitude of different futures can be liberating for some and dehumanizing for others.  They are forces of extraction, exclusion and division, while they simultaneously offer the possibility to give form and imagination to new, necessary realities.

Who develops the tools and platforms we use? What is the cultural impact and political/commercial origin of simulation technologies and machine learning? In what ways do the current forms of these technologies relate to ecological and social problems? Do they help with creating solutions? Do they add fuel to the fire? What possibilities are there for artistic practices to adapt their use, or even reassemble them to accommodate representation and inclusion? A network of researchers will investigate the lab methods, techniques and principles and disseminate them through our platform.

Diversity, Inclusion and Equity

In addition to understanding our entanglement with a multispecies reality, the lab will  strive to bring together a rich prism of perspectives – including feminist, queer,  non-binary, trans and voices of color – to share resources, time and space with many different imaginations of our near-future societies. We warmly welcome participants from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds and people from LGBTQIA+ communities.

Despite some of the technical aspects of the lab, the focus will be on unlocking and  accessing a wide variety of (non-coding) skills. This will be done through  interdisciplinary collaboration and conceptual approaches to topics. Therefore, the lab will also be a valuable environment for newcomers to narrative, sonification and visualization techniques.

Team, Mentors & Guests

We will be releasing the names of more mentors, workshop leaders and speakers soon. Watch this space!

  • Laurèn ter Horst
    Lab Communication
    Mahdi Nasser
    Researcher & Lab Support
    Xandra van der Eijk
    Mentor, curator, Selection Comittee
    Mark IJzerman
    Mentor, curator, Selection Comittee
    Jarl Schulp
    Mentor, curator, Selection Comittee
    Rhian Morris
    Researcher, Assistant Curator, Lab Production


Reassemble is made possible with the generous support of the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts and Creative Industry Fund NL. Project partners are CREATURES and Tolhuistuin.