Alaya Ang & Hussein Mitha: plotting (against) the garden

Beacon Tower at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop
29 July – 29 September 2021
Everyday, 10am – 5pm

Plotting (Against) The Garden by Alaya Ang & Hussein Mitha is an intimate, critical and poetic sound installation around the politics of gardens, dream gardens, and the intersection between the garden and the city, Plotting (Against) The Garden brings together memories and stories by artists Alaya Ang and Hussein Mitha. These compositions evoke embodied knowledge, ecological grief, and anti-colonial uprising, as well as the ambivalence of the garden as a form that keeps out as much as it lets in. The work emerges in dream-form through the urban structure of Beacon Tower and invites listeners to contemplate the politics of gardens: Who owns the land? Who toils on it? Who does the garden exclude? How can we imagine a return to the land, to the commons, to a collective shared world beyond imperialist plunder and capitalist exploitation? Sound artist Cindy Islam has tenderly constructed the music and sounds, reactivating the seed-dreams laid to rest in gardens across cities and sites of ecological destruction. The ambisonic soundscape generates loops and layers of frequencies, field recordings and noise. Cindy Islam morphs sound as texture, to develop an acoustic collage that facilitates a deepened listening practice. Voices heard in the work are from Alaya Ang, Hussein Mitha, Armaan Verma and Martha Adonai Williams.

The compositions will play at the times:

I: Cosmic Radio 10am to 12.30pm – Duration 26:10 min

II: The Imprint of the Sun 12.30pm to 3pm –  Duration 34:06min

III: Dreaming the End of Dreaming 3pm to 5pm – Duration 28:16 min

Part of our Summer Programme alongside other commissions which you can visit at ESW and events throughout the summer.

ESW supported by:                                                                         Project part of:

Alaya Ang is a visual artist and curator based in Glasgow where they are gathering, collecting, sharing, dispersing, fermenting a practice that makes space for embodied knowledge and for the botanics and politics to be in cahoots. Their sense of collective wayfinding is articulated through collaborative projects that centre anti-racist, feminist and ecological
values. They are interested in the radical potential of dreams and theimaginary as forms of recuperation.

Hussein Mitha is a writer, and cultural worker living in Glasgow. Their practice aims to politicise aesthetics through working within revolutionary traditions and cultures against capital and empire. They are against all forms of art-washing, and are a signatory of Boycott Zabludowicz.

This work was made possible with the support and skills of Cindy Islam, Martha Adonai Williams, Armaan Verma.

Cindy Islam is a sound artist and performer who uses different monikers to create and generate projects. Sweeping under the radar and always changing in and out. Cindy Islam embodies the transitional space of being and becoming. Using sound as material space and using the ears as a vortex into healing, Cindy Islam believes in the practice of listening as a route to new futures.

Martha Adonai Williams is a writer, facilitator, organiser and friend. Her work considers the wilderness and margins as sites of resistance, refusal and homecoming. She works with writing and storytelling as tools for supporting wellbeing and as methods for community building. Her recent work has been shown as part of Fringe of Colour films and published in MAP magazine. She runs call&response black feministwriting community, programmes for Glasgow Zine Library and curates SBWN’s annual Metaphors for a Black Future programme.

Armaan Verma is a writer and student at the University of Edinburgh. When he is not running late for lectures, he may be found wandering aimlessly in Edinburgh’s book shops. He has been writing since he was eleven, when he published his first book, Glorious Greeks: Meet the Gods. His work has appeared in The Skinny, The Ogilvie, and HIMAL Southasian. If he ever makes it out of his University’s labyrinthine library, he intends to write frantically for the rest of his life.