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

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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Listening to the Red Earth, a film

Directed by: Michael Salu
Cinematography: Michael Salu & Lee Tesche
Digital/3D art and animation: Michael Salu
Editing: Michael Salu
Music: Lee Tesche
Sound design: Michael Salu

This film was created to be presented alongside live readings from Michael Salu's book Red Earth, with additional live sound elements taken from the book. 

In this performative reading, artist, writer and scholar Michael Salu opens up the cinema space for a meditation on listening to the polyphonous dimensions of earth – inhumane and human – and to the frequencies of colonial afterlives. Drawing from his recent literary work, Red Earth (2023), Salu coalesces sound, words, image and space into a multi-sensual choreography on selfhood, grief and loss meshing towards nonhuman perspectives.

Red Earth is an expansive text and the source material for Michael Salu’s broader interdisciplinary artistic study, where machine learning is central to various processes to ask whether one can use computational translation to engage other knowledge systems.

Listening to the Red Earth was first performed at Gropius Bau Museum, Berlin, in October 2023 and since has been performed at the British Library, London and the Royal College of Art. 

Photos from the performance at Gropius Bau Museum, Berlin.

Photos from the British Library event: Cybernetics and Ghosts, where Listening to the Red Earth was also performed.