Green Root Lab｜聲境 Soundscope
Green Root Lab
Eva Bubla & Lilli Tölp
Bamboo, vines, straw rope, hemp rope
Crab Wactching Area
One perceives his world through his five senses: hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste. Among them, hearing is one that cannot be closed or turned off; the sounds of our environment are continuously approaching us, let us be awake or asleep. There is some sound in every silence.
Soundscope is a site-specific installation designed for Guandu International Nature Art Festival, a work built in order to detect the sounds of the environment in the park. The three tunnels on the walls of the woven dome enable the visitors to open their ears wider, as all the sounds coming into the tunnels are amplified. Soundscope is a place for visitors to stop for a moment, to rest, to listen, to contemplate, and to get in contact with nature around them, and thus, to connect to their very own deeper nature.
一起來認識「綠根實驗室」（Green Root Lab）的雙人組藝術家—來自愛沙尼亞的Lilli Tölp和匈牙利的Eva Bubla！
Let’s meet the members of Green Root Lab—Lilli Tölp from Estonia and Eva Bubla from Hungary, the artist of 2016 Guandu International Nature Art Festival!
Q: Why were you interested in this art project?
A: Lilli lives in India, and Eva lives in Indonesia. We saw a lot of problems such as water pollution and soil pollution around us, so we want to find a way to express our worry in the environmental issues. We have been working on environmental projects together since 2015 with the emphasis on nature and installations. Last year, we gave workshop on water pollution to children in Indonesia by showing some cartoons portraying different environmental problems like plastics in the soil and wastes of water and many resources. Furthermore, we made water filters together to discuss the function of the filtration system, and also planted trees in the villages with the kids. The purpose was to bring out the relations between deforestation and water resources, and make people aware that there were problems. Besides, we want to put noise pollution into focus since we have been interested in sounds. So we thought it might be interesting to put together nature, sound, and environmental problems. Our artist friends recommended Guandu art project to us. For us, to work on natural materials is an interesting challenge because we’re trying to make our ideas about nature into a real installation with functions.
Q: Are you particularly interested in sounds? How is the sound special to your work at Guandu?
A: Actually we are both very visual persons. Eva is with a painter background; Lilli studied photography and new media. Listening is an ability that we both want to develop. Lilli took an optional course by a teacher who was a sound artist. He led the students to pay attention to the sounds arounds us. That was the first time that I heard the sound of show touching the leaves. It was such a magical moment that I regretted why I’ve had make my ears sleep so long. I realized that I must learn to listen. After starting to listen, I found even noises like engines can have some kind of beauty in it. If you put attention there, you can find the characteristic. Since then I developed a habit of collecting local voices from different parts of the world. We find it inspiring to pay attention to the surroundings. Usually we tend to turn off ourselves especially in the cities. It is a privilege of Guandu to have such big open space and wetlands with sounds of winds, trees, and birds in the middle of a noisy city.
Our work “Soundscope” is made with the purpose of inviting people to listen carefully. Before we worked more in galleries, so working in a natural environment has brought us new challenges. Our methods and materials have been modified by the nature a lot. Before we came here, we wanted to make a symmetrical geometric structure with wood, but later we decided to use bamboos we found around. Our spot has the open sky and the most natural sounds of water, trees, birds, and frogs. It is a spot perfect for listening. Throughout the whole process we have been collaborating with nature.
Q: Why did you adopt the name “Green Root Lab”? How do you collaborate as a duet? What is the difference between working alone and cooperating with each other?
A: We used this name to express our concern for the environment since we started to work on some environmental projects in 2015. The word “lab” implies our expectations about not taking traditional forms of art and hopefully our group will grow bigger in the future. Usually Eva does the writing, while Lilli is better with tools and making things with hands. But most of the time we work out with ideas and brainstorming together. When we first started doing projects together, we adjusted our ways of collaborating with each other by working on the topic of trees for one month. So we did drawings of tress, or collected stones and flowers for some collages around the trees, so as to train our minds to think in that direction. It is good to exchange ideas and share perspectives with someone else. Not for opposing each other, we throw out our ideas with a view to making things better.
Q: How is the experience to work with volunteers this time? Did you have volunteers when you do your art projects in India or Indonesia? What’s the difference between your experiences with volunteers among these places?
A: We are grateful to the volunteers here! They’ve worked hard and actively no matter it’s rain or shine, or even hot sun. We’ve also learned so much about their life through talking. It is inspiring to work with the locals. And it’s good to work in open air because we were also inspired by random people passing by. We’ve got some kids helping with weaving. Some kids even came smelling our materials. The art projects we had before didn’t always have volunteer system. Sometimes we just did it alone to the end; sometimes we had some artist friends coming for helping out. In an art project in India, we had volunteers as consultants for certain tasks, so they just came when we needed instead of staying with us all the time. In comparison the volunteer system here is very organized with certain working hours and amount of people. We hope those who have come for help can feel themselves to be part of the project.
Green Root Lab
Green Root Lab is an environmental art organization founded and run by artists and environmental activists Lilli Tölp (Estonia) and Eva Bubla (Hungary). The organization deals with green art activities and was founded in order to raise environmental awareness by the language of art. Mainly it focuses on community art projects and the interdisciplinary field of art and technology.
Eva and Lilli have held workshops where they built water filters and started a reforestation movement with Indonesian local communities, built puppets for shadow play from recycled materials with children, created site-specific installations, studied bamboo weaving and building house from cow waste with local Indian communities. Their last project researched the social and ecological conditions of India, with special emphasis on farming practices. This time they focus on bringing awareness on noise pollution and bird distinction.
In their works Lilli and Eva investigate and reflect on nature, the impact of urbanization, chemical farming and other commercial activities on the landscape, and the identity of natural space and related social practices.