Joel Spring and Victoria Pham
A conversation about TERRA: Memory & Soil

Joel Spring and Victoria Pham in conversation with West Space curator Sebastian Henry-Jones on their collaborative exhibition TERRA: Memory & Soil, 3 Sept → 16 Oct 2022

TERRA: Memory & Soil is a collaboration between Victoria Pham and Joel Spring, whose critical interdisciplinary positions—evolutionary biology, architecture, contemporary art, and composition—bring vastly different insights into notions of the built environment, history and legacies of colonialism.

When we consider gardening, we tend to create a relationship with the natural world through control. Instead of revealing the Earth beneath our feet, we often seek to conceal it, relegating soil to a tool from which our ideal forms grow. This work combines digital art and research into local indigenous knowledge. Instead of a geometrically symmetrical space bordered by hedges and freshly mown grass, Spring and Pham offer a space to listen and experience history through soil, and reconsider what it means to garden.

TERRA: Memory & Soil is co-commissioned by West Space, Liquid Architecture and Centre for Projection Art

Joel Spring is a Wiradjuri man raised between Redfern and Alice Springs who works across research, activism, architecture, installation and speculative projects. At present, his work focuses on the contested narratives of Sydney’s and Australia’s urban culture and indigenous history in the face of ongoing colonisation.

Victoria Pham is an Australian installation artist, composer, archaeologist and evolutionary biologist. She is a PhD Candidate in Biological Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, holding the Cambridge Trust’s International Scholarship. As a composer she has studied with Carl Vine, Richard Gill, Liza Lim and Thierry Escaich. She is represented by the Australian Music Centre as an Associate Artist.