Events and public experiments in Arizona and beyond (2017-2019).

September 23rd 2019 - December 8th 2019

A study room, an immersive installation, a portal into a parallel present or a possible future. It is a place shapeshifting between a misplaced listening bar, a forgotten lounge, or a panpsychic resonance station. The visitors are invited to explore, to piece a story together from scattered hints and fragments. A story about attuning to the rhythms of the desert, told through sound, light, objects and ambience. A story that can only be known through material traces and speculation. Listen, browse, read, meditate. In company or in solitude. In solidarity with those unheard others you inhabit the desert with.

Dust & Shadow

Created by: FoAM (Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney) and Ron Broglio Chief Architect: Luke Kautz In collaboration with: Amy Carolyn Watson, Emily Pattni, AJ Allison, Nikka Balcazo, Rigo Berber, Kara Deacon, Katie Hawkins, Akil James, Yesica Juarez, Oladeji Sholola, Michael Stears, Mia, Erika Hanson, Jennifer Duvernay, Rene James, Shari Laster, Matthew Toro, Stacey Moran, and Adam Nocek. Supported by: The Institute for Humanities Research, Global Institute of Sustainability, Desert Humanities, Center for Philosophical Technologies and the Panpsychic Development Fund

The Desert Salon in the Hayden library is envisaged as a “physical narrative”. It is a space filled with objects and media collected together as fragments of a possible future scenario. In this case, it's a scenario for an alternative future of Phoenix with a somewhat Solar Punk inspired atmosphere. The design is intimate and contemplative, inviting deceleration, solidarity (with humans and other-than-humans), appreciation, care, elation and relief, without losing a sense of irreverence and resistance.

In this scenario, the Hayden library still exists, but it is used slightly differently. It became a monastic entity for rethinking time and re-attuning the urban clock-time to the rhythms of the desert. It's a hybrid between a study space, listening bar, an intimate lounge room and an exploded publication. It is suggestive of a library in a speculative desert university, where Occult sciences, fictocriticism, coven studies and dust theory are common fields of study.

In progress: Design guide

At best, the listening bar raises good questions about whether there might be an unrealized public-listening or group-listening ideal in a ritual as familiar as going out for a drink. (…) I understood something about the tactility and enlivening qualities of sound better than ever before: Sound can be a three-dimensional space in which to put your body, and in which your body may be acted upon and opened up, even when you are sitting still. I seemed to understand the physics of it: tones as standing waves, and me in the middle of them, one of them. Or, if you prefer the language of another sense, it was like seeing colors after knowing only grays. (…) As a natural consequence of hearing in that detail, I could also sense the physicality of the people making the music — their throats, hands, reflexes, sensibilities. (…) The room’s goldenrod curtains stay drawn, and its interior is unremarkably brown enough that you can turn your attention to the spectacular thing going on before and around you, which is sound. (…) a total break in your waking hours. A cleaned window. An open window! Ben Rattlif in NY Times

The production of the Acoustic Ecology Salon has been awarded an IHR Seed Grant.


At the opening event of the Desert Humanities Initiative, FoAM and Timothy Morton discuss what it means to attune to the desert landscape. What does the desert ask of us and how might it change how we dwell?

This event features the premiere of “Dust & Shadow | Redux”, an audiovisual experiment and lecture-performance by FoAM.

More about this event:

Dust and Shadow walk, in collaboration with the Museum of Walking.

The participants are invited to attune, to experience diverse forms of listening, and to practice a geomancy for the age of climate chaos. Walking in silence through the Sonoran dust in the shadow of civilisation, the participants may begin to hear the murmur of matter, uncover desert refugia amidst urban life, and forge new connections with the unexpected.

Date: Saturday, March 24, 2018
Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm (golden hour 6:00, sunset 6:40-6:45, blue hour 6:58, dusk 7:08, night 8:06)

Location: Moeur Park
Meeting locale: North Shore Volley Ball courts, Tempe Town Lake
Park on E Lake View Drive under the 202 highway overpass. The walk will begin under the overpass.
GPS coordinates 33.435206,-111.941293

The Dust & Shadow soundwalk is an experiment in attunement to an urban desert environment through diverse forms of listening. Walking in silence through the Sonoran dust in the shadow of civilisation, the walkers may begin to hear the murmur of matter, uncover desert refugia amidst urban life, and forge new connections with the unexpected.

Read more about the Dust & Shadow Soundwalk:
Listen to the soundscape:

Dust & Shadow Soundwalk

Events where Dust & Shadow has been discussed, or its materials have been incorporated in audiovisual performances.

Re-enchanting the Present, Tempe, Arizona, September 2019
At the Center for Philosophical Technologies Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney discuss their interstitial techniques for living with uncertainty, combining experiential futures, generative technologies, labcraft, and the ephemeral tools of panpsychism. This lecture is also an introduction to the Proposition Cards workshop, using Dust & Shadow futuring as a starting point.

The Overlooked and the Unheard, Savičenta, Croatia, June 2019
FoAM's lecture performance explored the quiet, liminal and often overlooked qualities of landscapes. The event distilled the sounds, images, scents and tastes that exist just below the horizon of attention. It provided an invitation to slow down and listen to the silent dialogues of beings living within, underneath and in-between the noise of human activities.

Rooted Hauntology Lab: Seance #1, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 2019
Rooted Hauntology Co-working Lab is a research trajectory looking at the (im)possibility of collaboration between humans and plants. A séance has the potential for summoning something that needs our care and attention in order to appear. A séance is not an event, a service, nor entertainment; it is not there to be consumed. A séance is playful serious business. A séance attempts at creating a ghostly loophole in reality, that has the potential to haunt on for a longer time. FoAM composed an immersive, haunted sound piece as part of the dawn ritual in Het Glazen Huis in Amsterdam, with botanical sounds from the Sonoran desert and the Adriatic sea.

Spectres in Change Salon, Helsinki, Finland, May 2019
A lecture-performance “Hints, traces and resonances; experiencing ecological uncertainty”. Through an interplay of sound, text and image FoAM suggests varied relationships with animate, inanimate and partially animate critters inhabiting the world. Unexpected resonances lurking in the gaps of a seemingly seamless reality. Liminal disturbances and barely audible crumblings hinting to a perpetually wavering restlessness. Composed with/by/for the beings and phenomena encountered in the Sonoran desert, the sacred forests of Kumano Kodō, and the coastal habitats of the Adriatic and Archipelago Seas.

Alchorisma, Hasselt, Belgium and Kyoto, Japan, December 2018
Alchorisma alludes to the relationships between algorithms, charisma, rhythm, alchemy and karma. Alchorisma is a worksession which looks at integrating cosmogenetic views with the charisma surrounding technology. It explored ways to infect existing algorithmic models with positions that acknowledge the importance of co-existence with non-human entities. FoAM focused on geological substrates of digital technology, through a participatory workshop and a series of morning reflections, FoAM worked with attunement as a way to reestablish relationships with geological entities and glacial timescales, to experiment with algorithms to re-confuse binary distinctions between nature and culture, human and non-human, life and death.

Terra Fiction, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 2018
At Coded Matter(s): Terra Fiction FIBER and De Brakke Grond invite speakers working in the fields of art, literature, science, design and digital culture to reassess man’s future relationship with the earth and the cosmos. FoAM presented a lecture/performance where geological time, microbial contamination, non-corvid interaction, death and dying co-exist alongside audiovisual atmospheres from the Sonoran desert, Balkan forests and urban jungles.

Open Studio, Penryn, UK, September 2018
At the international Open Studio of the FoAM Network, Dust & Shadow was present with the second print edition of Reader #1 and created a listening salon for the Sonoran Soundwalk.

Research Gathering Spring 2018, Brussels, Belgium, April 2018
A gathering for collaborators and researchers of FoAM bxl to present and discuss their work in progress, in an informal setting. The presentations tend to be short and visual, allowing enough time for questions and conversations. The most important part of the gatherings are the conversations and the feedback, that can inform the next steps in the research process. The progress of Dust & Shadow has been discussed at this gathering.

Anticipation Conference, London, UK, November 2017
The 2nd International Conference on Anticipation provided an interdisciplinary meeting ground in which researchers, scholars and practitioners who are seeking to understand anticipation and anticipatory practices. FoAM's keynote “In Anticipation of Things Already Present” included thoughts, words and images collected during the first fieltrip of Dust & Shadow.

LCT + Synthesis talk and apero by FoAM, Tempe, Arizona, November 2017
FoAM's lecture about the background thinking behind Dust & Shadow, followed by an informal Apero for ASU students and faculty.

  • dust_and_shadow/events.txt
  • Last modified: 2019-09-25 15:16
  • by