Luna Galassini, an artist based in Truchas, New Mexico, explores historical narratives of extraction in New Mexico through sound art.
Field Samples recontextualizes New Mexico’s abandoned and reclaimed mines as sites of sounding and reimagining. Using methods inspired by David Tudor’s Rainforest, the project employs contact microphones and transducers to explore the resonant qualities of mines and caves. Sound samples drawn from nearby landscapes, historical field recordings, ephemeral performance, and present-day engagement with surrounding communities collide with the materiality of mining infrastructure in the audio signal chain.
“By turning these sites into spaces for sounding and performance, I hope to propose a way of engaging land, space, resource use, and remediation that refutes New Mexico’s historical status as a site of pillage, pollution, and extraction. I began this project as a solo series of sound experiments, playing reclaimed mine gates as resonators and feedback devices. But more than a signal generator, the sealed mine gate and its untended cave entrance transform a former site of industry into something else—a curiosity, a dead end, an attempt to repair what has been a violent history, a resignation to an unknown future.
“Fascination with mines and caves as sites of musical experimentation is not new, and yet I’m troubled by the prospect of using these sites to perform a more immaterial kind of extraction—exploiting them for their musical potential and moving on. I began to wonder if there was a way to ‘play’ these mines that might be more in line with both their history and a potential future. This work is ongoing as I explore collaborative iterations of performance and continue my historical research into extractive mining in New Mexico.”
Luna Galassini is an artist, performer, and mushroom-grower based in Truchas, New Mexico. She received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2018 and moved to New Mexico shortly thereafter, beginning a transition to sound-based works and an all-consuming independent research practice focused on the geological and radical histories of her new home.