Caves, Dwellings & Vibration

Black and white image of people standing in a cave
Santu Mofokeng, Prayer Service at the Altar on the Easter Weekend at Motouleng Cave, Clarens, 2006. Courtesy: Maker Studio, Johannesburg.
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In the framework of our exhibition Hollow Earth: Art, Caves & The Subterranean Imaginary and our research strand Emergency & Emergence, we cordially invite you to Caves, Dwellings & Vibration, a two-day programme deepening and complexifying our relationship with caves through talks, music, film and performances.

Caves, Dwellings & Vibration is conceived as a sensorial exchange across research, mediation and performance highlighting Nottingham’s extraordinary condition as a city built on a network of caves - being the UK’s largest network of over 800 hidden beneath.

Caves, Dwelling & Vibration aspires to look closely into the poetic and artistic knowledge and wisdom caves carry, to think about the notions of geologic and deep time, archaeoacoustics and the uses of caves as spaces of dwellings but also as spaces of upheaval.

The programme includes contributions by Zeynep Bulut, Laura Emsley, Ella Finer, Louis Henderson, Emma McCormick Goodhart, Norma Gregory, Jessika Kenney, María Angélica Madero, Frances Morgan, Flora Parrott, Frank Pearson, Andrew Goffey and Kathryn Yusoff among others. Each day ends with sonic meditations inspired by the work of Pauline Oliveros as presented in Hollow Earth: Art, Caves & The Subterranean Imaginary.

Nottingham Contemporary’s Live Programmes invited Ignota Books, in response to their publication, Quantum Listening, to conspire on performances that unfold in The City of Caves, underneath Nottingham Contemporary. Due to the historic nature of these ancient caves these events will have a very limited capacity.The performances by Evan Ifekoya, Paul Purgas, Lucy Railton and Maxwell Sterling explore the roots and legacies of Deep Listening with a broad curiosity toward vibration, resonance and altered states.

The Programme

Saturday 10 December, The Space at Nottingham Contemporary

12:30 - 1:00pm: Hollow Earth Walkthrough led by Rosa Tyhurst (Curator of Exhibitions) and Niall Farrelly (Assistant Curator of Exhibitions)

1:00 - 1:45pm: Hollow Earth Walkthrough led by Norma Gregory (the founder and director of Black Miners' Museum)

1:45 - 3:00pm: Lunch Break

3:00 - 4:30pm: Opening Remarks by Canan Batur (Curator of Live Programmes) and The Shape of Emptiness by Flora Parrott and Frank Pearson

4:45 - 6:15pm: Keynote: Rethinking Geologic Subjectivity in Broken Earths, Kathryn Yusoff, moderated by Andrew Goffey

6:45 - 7:45pm: Workshop: Sounding/Listening: Pauline Oliveros’ Sonic Meditations, Frances Morgan, The Studio

Saturday 10 December, The City of Caves, Nottingham

8:30 - 9:15pm: Divine Resonance by Maxwell Sterling

9:15 - 10:00pm: Chest Cavity as Resonance Chamber, performance by Evan Ifekoya

Sunday 11 December, The Space at Nottingham Contemporary

12:30 - 2:00pm: Opening Remarks by Canan Batur (Curator of Live Programmes) and sub_merge by Laura Emsley, followed by a conversation with Maria Angélica Madero

2:00 - 3:00pm: Lunch Break

3:00 - 4:45pm: ӕramphore(climate remix), performance by Emma McCormick Goodhart and Jessika Kenney, followed by a conversation with Ella Finer

5:00 - 6:30pm: Bring breath to the death of rocks, by Louis Henderson, followed by a conversation with Nicole Yip (Chief Curator of Exhibitions and Live Programmes)

6:45 - 8:00pm: Sonic Meditation with Zeynep Bulut and Ignota Books

Sunday 11 December, The City of Caves, Nottingham

8:30 - 9:15pm: Performance by Lucy Railton

9:15 - 10:00pm: Performance by Paul Purgas

About the event

Free. Limited Capacity.

Booking is required.

We are unable to provide British Sign Language interpretation for this event.


Find information about getting here and our building access and facilities here.

Speakers will use microphones.

There are no audio descriptions for this event.

If you have any questions around access or have specific access requirements we can accommodate, please get in touch with us by emailing or phoning 0115 948 9750.

For the events taking place at The City of Caves, due to the historic nature of these ancient caves, they are inaccessible for visitors who use wheelchairs, are bringing prams, or have limited mobility.

Please note: There are currently no on-site toilets at The City of Caves.

Safety during your visit

Please do not attend this event if you/someone in your household is currently COVID-19 positive, has suspected symptoms or awaiting test results.

Staff and visitors are welcome to wear a face mask in all areas.

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