Back to All Events

Terraforming Under the Stars

  • Boom Island Park 800 NE Sibley St Minneapolis, Minnesota 55413 (map)

Salutations SOTAns! Please join us for our first public edition of SOTA Projects. This sound piece, titled "Terraforming" by Danelle Cloutier, will be presented as a communal star-gazing experience. Come join us in the park as we lie under the stars and experience this piece that explores the idea of searching for life in outer space and feelings of existential loneliness. Be sure to bring your personal devices, headphones, and a blanket if you like!


Space isn’t empty nor silent, but what if it’s lifeless?

Terraforming is a sound story about our hopeful quest for other lifeforms in the universe. This piece takes listeners through the liftoff, the search, and the aftermath of discovering nothing.

This exhibition is based on the reality of our climate crisis with the backdrop of our quest to colonize Mars and the moon. A chance at a new life on a new planet provides hope in moments where anxiety about climate change is overwhelming.

Terraforming incorporates NASA recordings from space, including speech, the sound of a supernova, plasma waves and a spacecraft as it descends on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

This project plays with a 360 sound stage, frequencies and musical scales designed to evoke certain sensations, including pressure in your head as the shuttle lifts off; a calm, dream-like state as the shuttle arrives in orbit; and dark and uneasy feeling as the reality sets in that we may, in fact, be alone in the universe.

The ideas that Terraforming addresses are particularly timely because this year also marks the 50th anniversary of the first walk on the moon and NASA recently announced that another astronaut is going to the moon by 2024.

This sound story is a celebration of these scientific accomplishments and an invitation to think about how we romanticize life beyond earth when turmoil on our planet feels unbearable.

Terraforming is a call to either crumble or live as if what we have now, right here, is all we have.

Danelle Cloutier is a queer audio engineer and journalist in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She likes preserving the present and past in audio recordings of special moments in her life and intriguing environments. The inspiration for Terraforming came from a lifelong fascination with the paranormal and extraterrestrial. Terraforming blends her love of storytelling with her background in foley, sound effects, and music production.