Custom 42 channel audio equipment, found speakers, contact transducers, cable

Commissioned for outdoor exhibition Botanica Ross Manning’s Vulgaris (2019) reveals the sonic nature of the of Brisbane’s Botanical Gardens and its groves of Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo). The tightly entwined stems reach overhead defining the parameters of the small bamboo forest, while 45 individual speakers each play their own sound to build a resonant landscape of noise. Live amplifications of the Bamboo stack’s audio-landscape are overlayed with site recordings from varied weather conditions and times of day. Manning’s activation of this introduced ecosystem heightens audience perception of the surrounding environment—building resonant echoes of how this site came to be. Botanical Gardens were established during European Colonisation with the intention to re-produce useful plants for the growth of military and colonies. Populated by introduced species, Botanical Gardens were a testing ground to acclimatise plants from one colony to another and one hemisphere to another. Vulgaris magnifies the audio-landscape of this foreign ecosystem—enveloping the audience in an echo-chamber of sound that is innately steeped in the site’s history.

Vulgaris, 2019