The Planting: a 45 minute sound feature

The Planting is a speculative documentary spatial audio artwork set in 2029, exploring the future impacts of climate change, social movements and caring for Country across the continent of so-called Australia. The work features interviews with Yuin man Bruce Pascoe, Barkindji woman Zena Cumpston, Canadian journalist Naomi Klein, Yorta Yorta woman Kathryn Coff and traditional fire practitioners Jason Smith and Danny Gardner, with field recordings from Landcare plantings on Djaara Country, of bird life on Wadawurrung, the Gulidjan and the Gadubanu Country and features traditional burning workshops in lutruwita. The work is a deep listening experience, presented on a speaker orchestra.

Creative Team

Lead Artist – Alex Kelly

Composition & Sound Design – Lawrence Harvey

Dramaturg – David Pledger

Producer – Sophia Marinos

Sound Systems Engineer – Simon Maisch

Additional Composition – Aaron Cupples
Design – Elliat Rich

Sound recordings Alex Kelly, Anna Cadden, Zoe Scoglio, Jorgen Doyle, Caddie Brain

Featuring Bruce Pascoe, Naomi Klein, Zena Cumpston, Danny Gardiner, Jason Smith, Kathryn Coff, SIAL Studio students & members of Castlemaine Landcare

Polykeepers of Time – Clancy Kelly, Poppy Cowell, Sweeney Comte-Harvey, Alex Kelly, Sophia Marinos, David Pledger

Time Sweep Requests – Pirjo Haikola, Sarah Teasley, Samantha Comte, Chuan Khoo, Oliver Cotsaftis, Javier De Urquijo Isoard

Locations Dja Dja Wurrung Country, Western Arrarnta Country, Wadawurrung Country, Gulidjan Country, Gadubanu Country. The Planting also features traditional burning workshops in Southern lutruwita.


The Planting has been created in partnership with RMIT University and the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (SIAL) Sound Studios, and with the support of Mount Alexander Shire Council, Get Lost, Castlemaine State Festival, Playking Foundation, Sidney Myer Fund, Community Impact Foundation, the Australia Council for the Arts, Australian Network for Art and Technology, and the Bertha Foundation as part of the 2021 Bertha Challenge Fellowship program.

For excerpt and further details –

For other SIAL Sound Studios audio works in The Things We Did Next – click here.

The World Premiere of The Planting took place at Storey Hall, RMIT University on April 23rd 2022 for ANAT SPECTRA 2022: Multiplicity, presented by the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT).



Images from a lecture to the School of Design research community on the process of collaboration and composition of The Planting.

23 April, 2022

Storey Hall, RMIT University