Dust and Shadow: An Acoustic Ecology Salon

Working with international artists and designers Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney of Foam we are hosting a desert ecology listening salon at Hayden Library. Maja and Nik traveled the desert in two years of site visits with ASU’s D.A.R.E. team collecting artifacts and sounds. From these experiences, they have created a desert sounds vinyl album and series of accompanying images for the salon. Further books, maps and images are supplied by the Hayden Library and its archives. We look to develop this project further with the Global Drylands Center to create an ongoing curated experiences drawn from faculty research. Additionally, we will be collaborating with ASU’s Listen(n) project team for further sonic immersions. Thanks goes to GIOS, IHR, the Center for Philosophical Technologies for assisting in funding this initial salon and thanks to Hayden Library and its dedicated staff for space and creative research. The salon will be open September 23rd to December 8th.

Access resources for Dust and Shadow

Learn more about FoAM's involvement with the project

Watch the immersive lecture "Attunement to the Desert"

Nibi Walks and praying for the waters

Join us for this special learning opportunity. We are fortunate to learn from Sharon M. Day about Nibi Walks and the walking practice of praying for the waters. Sharon Day, Ojibwe, will discuss the tradition of Nibi (water) Walks. She will also share information about a future walk in Arizona that begins at the headwaters of the Rio Salado and ends at the confluence of Gila River. This practice of carrying the water with prayer has its roots in the Ojibwe culture. Learn how you can participate in this walk happening in February 2020. Tea and snacks will be provided after the talk. This talk is in collaboration between the Heard Museum, Desert Humanities at ASU and the Museum of Walking. Sharon M. Day is the Executive Director and one of the founder’s of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force (IPTF), formerly known as the Minnesota American Indian AIDS Task Force. Of her environmental work she says, “As indigenous people, we’re fairly close to the land. And we have something to share with the environmental movement. …It’s really understanding that the earth is our mother, we are the water…So, how do you make an offering, how do you have a connection?…This is what we bring to the environmental movement. And justice and healing…And in 1998, for the first time, we took that kind of spiritual work out of our ceremonial work and placed it into a geo-political setting. It was necessary because of the crisis we’re in right now..North America is on fire.” Sharon will host a talk November 13, 2019, at the Heard Museum and will lead a Nibi walk along the Salt River February 14-16, 2020.

RSVP to the Talk on Nibi Walks on November 13.

Desert Attunement Symposium

How do we listen to the desert? And what is it telling us? This symposium explores imperatives which the desert gives to those dwelling within it. Faculty from across humanities and art disciplines and practices at ASU pair with resonant outside researchers to discuss what it means to develop a lifestyle that is in harmony with our desert surroundings. Proposed dates February 13-14.

Desert Portal chamber orchestra

Laura Kaminsky is writing a new musical composition for a chamber orchestra on the theme of resilience in desert environments tied to a body of work by visual artist Rebecca Allan. They have worked as a team on a number of compositions with accompanying visuals. Thanks to IHR and CLAS for the funding and connections. Dates: The performance will be in April 2020 with a location to be determined.

Works in Progress lecture series

We have amazing humanities faculty at ASU working in a range of desert related projects. This works in progress series is an opportunity for faculty to try out new material and inform others in the ASU community about the work. The structure is flexible but most likely two to three twenty minute talks followed by conversation.

Understanding Food course at ASU

In Spring 2020 Joan McGregor is teaching a food course which will coordinate her own work in the area with the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems, local chefs, and the Humanities for the Environment Dinner 2040 project. The teaching brings together local and global food systems alongside questions of ethics and sustainability in our desert environment. McGregor is teaching a related course in Fall 2019 for the Humanities Lab with Julianne Vitullo. Dates: Spring semester 2020.