Synthetic landscapes of vibrant matter
posted by Oscar Martin on 7 March 2023

Oscar Martín presents a parallel sound work that he conceptualised and pre-produced during an Ars Bioarctica residency at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station. Martín had his residency together with Marta Moreno Muñoz and it served as the conclusion of the 2020: The Walk project. This is the second blog post of the same residency, you can find the first blog post by Moreno Muñoz on our website.

Synthetic Landscapes of Vibrant Matter

This work is nourished by the vital, perceptive and sonorous experience of living outdoors, on the 'outside', in the cultural-natural landscapes that we have traversed and traversed us during 6 months of walking with 2020: the Walk. A long-lasting immersion, deep and attentive listening that has transformed our sensorium.

Sometimes in this deep, slow and prolonged listening to a landscape, its sonic forces and powers open windows through which hidden sounds and melodies emerge. Encrypted resonant vectors in the bones, in the viscera, and in the aural receptor apparatus. The body connected with the variable intensity of the wind on the rivers rocks at geological velocity, the rhythms of liquid, solid and gaseous water, the tectonic vibrations, the vibrating mineral matter and the sounds of birds and insects make hidden rhythms and patterns come up. Like a synchronised ecosystem in the randomness that makes temporal sense and opens its secrets to us in a forgotten language. A momentum that shows us how everything is made of the same substance and interrelated. Primordia > atoms, quarks, particles, steam, matter-energy.

The title and part of the text refers to Jane Bennett's book "Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things".

An attempt to open the encrypted sound in the landscape

This sound work speculates on the possibilities of going beyond the sonic appearance of the landscape, dissolving the onto-theological binaries of life/matter, analogue/digital, wild/culture, organic/inorganic. To induce in the human body and its sensorium an aesthetic-affective opening to the material vitality of the in/outside. An attentive encounter between bodies, materialities and thing-identities.

In the creation process, I have worked with field recordings made at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station surrounding environment. It could be defined as an algorithmic and alchemical transformational process of sound materiality.

Following different methods of audio analysis, I have extracted patterns, intensities and different behaviours from the spectral and structural information of the sounds. Then this data is resynthesized with different types of digital audio synthesis. I have also experimented with some MelGAN-VC machine learning models for audio transfer style and I have composed this piece with the resulting transformed material.

MelGAN-VC Voice Conversion and Audio Style Transfer on arbitrarily long samples using Spectrogramsby by Marco Passini.


Oscar Martín joined Marta Moreno Muñoz to support and document her 6-month journey, 2020: The Walk, which started in April 2022. The project ended at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station, where Moreno Muñoz and Martín spent two weeks exploring the sub-arctic environment, researching, writing and filming the last scenes of the 2020: The Walk. The two weeks was both part of the Ars Bioarctica residency program, as well as part of the Creative Europe collaboration project Rewilding Cultures by multiple European art associations, including the Bioart Society. Rewilding Cultures receives funding from the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. Prior to traveling from Helsinki to Kilpisjärvi, Moreno Muñoz and Martín held an open discussion and presentation on 17th September 2022 about civil resistance in the face of the climate, ecological and civilisation crisis with Extinction Rebellion Finland / Extinction Rebellion Spain and Scientist Rebellion activists at Myymälä2.

Oscar Martín a.k.a Noish (Winthertur, b. 1977) is an independent artist, programmer and researcher. In his practice and installations, art and science converge in an experimental and heterodox approach, and he addresses emergence and self-organisation in complex and chaotic systems with non-human agents. From the sound aspect, his pieces propose to encourage active listening and expand perception through the physical-acoustic experience of the phenomenon of the emergence of structures and patterns in the limits of the chaotic and the ordered. His works have been shown at Museo Nacional Reina Sofía, Piksel Festival, SONAR, ISEA2022 Barcelona, Ars Electrónica Garden , NK-project Berlin, amongst others.

Currently he is based in Barcelona preparing an exhibition of BSM v3 [bionic sound machine], an installation that proposes an alliance between a colony of physarum polycephalum [slime mold] and a system of sound genetic/evolutive algorithms. Also reactivating collective projects such as EEMEEMEE a collective learning group that crosses mycology, art, ecology and critical thinking.

2020: The Walk: