The Red Earth Project (2019-)

  1. Overview    
  2. Research
  3. A Lecture at Princeton

The Book
  1. About
  2. Red Earth in the Paris Review
  3. Themes
  4. Form
  5. Where to buy


Process and Output
  1. Conceptual Development
  2. Photography
  3. Prose
  4. Computational and Subjective Translation
  5. Digital to Physical
  6. Process 1: Process and Theory
  7. Process 2: Making
  8. Compositions

Selected Works
  1. Red Earth, The Book
  2. Ever Abeokuta
  3. Colonial Enterprise
  4. Red Earth
  5. Amor Fati
  6. Direct Translation Diptychs 1, 2, 3 & 4
  7. Sixteenth Century Technology
  8. How Can Time Become a Circle
  9. Deference
  10. Solitary Breath

Exhibitions & Performances
  1. Studio Hanniball
  2. Archive of Forgetfulness
  3. Listening to the Red Earth, a film


   1. The Red Earth Playlist
   2. Beyond the Zero Podcast
   3. EDIT Magazin

Related Works
  1. Planetary Portals

Next Steps

Object Int’l —
  1. The Red Earth Project is an ongoing artistic, interdisciplinary study centred on prose reflections and machine translation, drawing attention to the precarious status of non-western cultural heritage, knowledge systems and practices in the increasingly dominant Western systems of data, virtual architectures and AI technologies. A critical study of machine learning (AI), this research asks how alternative cosmologies can be better represented within virtual architectures powered by probabalistic computation. 

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‘The storyteller began to put forth words, not because he thought others might reply with other, predictable words, but to test the extent to which words could fit with one another, could give birth to one another, in order to extract an explanation of the world from the thread of every possible spoken narrative, and from the arabesque that nouns and verbs, subjects and predicates performed as they unfolded from one another.’
(From Cybernetics and Ghosts, by Italo Calvino, 1967.)

...Under the Care of...
Mixed media

‘Brittle ice settled upon books, rapidly spreading dramatic fractal formations across every surface, curling and crisping pages as fire also might do.’  
(From Red Earth, by Michael Salu)

This artistic research asks how alternative cosmologies can be better represented within virtual architectures powered by AI innovation. 

This study considers alternative ways of thinking about disintermediation, restitution and repatriation of cultural artefacts, and maintenance of nonwestern cultural heritages. Generative artefacts learning and evolving from a series of inputs from local call-and-response tradition of knowledge and language forms aim to disrupt the ideological intentions embedded within probabilistic computationa dn at least draw attention to their exclusivity and incompleteness. Red Earth presents an example of the processes behind such an intervention, suggesting new archives of the future.

Extracts from this project have appeared in:

Edit Magazin

Archive of Forgetfulness


Queen Mob's Teahouse

Flat Journal

Writer’s Mosaic

Artist’s Biography
Michael Salu is a British-born Nigerian writer, artist, filmmaker, scholar, editor and creative strategist with a strongly interdisciplinary practice, with literature and criticism at the core. His written work has appeared in literary journals, magazines, art and academic publications, and as an artist, he has exhibited internationally. 

Salu has conceived and managed the creative output of many culturally-focused brands and organisations across a variety of online and offline media and has often contributed to the art and media curriculums of academic institutions including Kingston University and The Royal College of Art, and has held several advisory roles and spoken at numerous live events and symposiums, including 5x15. He has won awards and received commendations across design, art and literature. 

He runs House of Thought, an artistic research practice and consultancy focusing on bridging creative, critical thinking and technology and is part of Planetary Portals, a creative research collective with Casper Laing Ebbensgaard (UEA), Kathryn Yusoff (QMUL), and Kerry Holden (QMUL). 

His book Red Earth will be published in October 2023 by Calamari Press (NYC).