Collecting waste


WKR is a constant radio flow of composting sound. We invite artists, musicians, radios and people to contribute by sending their sonic waste. The sounds are processed through a neo-built algorithm which gradually decomposes the sonic information throughout the year, applying the same mechanisms of biological and chemical reactions which decompose organic material into compost.

Compost is the result of a series of microbiological reactions that transform organic substances into fertilising humus, which enriches the soil.
The composting technique mimics the processes in the forest that return organic substances to the life cycle through two phases: bioxidation and maturation. What comes from the soil, has grown, lived, been used and discarded, returns to the soil as new enrichment.

WKR turns the ear to these discards through a sonic metaphor, creating a space to welcome, cultivate, care for and value sonic waste: uncultivated, broken, deviant sounds, not worthy of being heard again, rejected in their ontology.

What happens when we decide to archive or eliminate a sound, that is, to eliminate ‘sonic wastes’ from the listening landscape? And if we decide to listen to these scraps, what do they tell us? What happens when we try to trigger the composting of sound scraps?

Through a dialogue between science and art, we would like to give life to a reflection and an artistic practice that declines our respons-ability, i.e. the ability to offer answers, to the urgencies posed by the Wasteocene and in particular by the surge in the production of pollution due to the multiplication of digital work, which sees all sectors and thus also that of art in a process of digitisation that does not, however, include reflection on the ecological footprint it entails.

In a queer vision, which is compost, the transformation of waste is implemented by introducing it into multi-species narratives with processes of open endings, thanks to a development without progress, multidirectional and indeterminate. Waste becomes vibrant matter, takes on a non-linear transformation, accepts to leave its identity and becomes something else, opening up to unexpected, interdependent collaborations and combinations, without reducing to one but exploding into the multiple.

But what is the final fertiliser?
Well, we would like to leave this question open to you.

WKR is a sympoietic act of creation
WKR is Ulysses rejecting the wax corks
WKR is a process from abandonment to abundance

Enter the co-creation process of WKR. Donate your sonic waste!

Editorial team

  • Alan Alpenfelt
    Waste collector and co-editor
  • Daniela Allocca
    Mychelium runner and co-editor
  • Dario Sanfilippo, Luca Spanedda
    Algorithmic Compos(t)ition, Coding, Music

“À nous de créer le temps,
De Tisser entre maintenant et toujours.”
 21 Août, Prières quotidiennes –Luce Irigary

We are living in the age of waste, called the Wastocene.

Waste culture has unlearnt to reuse waste or to envisage a production where nothing has to be discarded. We prefer to relegate waste to non-visible hiding places, we use the margins as a receptacle for the unseen rather than enhancing them as a place of wealth, of proliferation of diversity.

Recycling, use and reuse have always been part of our production processes until a reversal of trend occurred and a process of separation between the used and the new began.

The challenge is to be able to reverse this process, to develop an ecology of gestures that reintroduces, into our actions, respect for a material whose ontology lies in its transformation and not in its rejection.

Today, listening facilities such as radios, streaming services and social networks are defined by algorithms. They discard what doesn’t correspond to the users’ tastes.

Recovering an attitude towards the valorization of waste, rewriting our relationship with matter, with materials, with living beings and thus redesigning our possibilities in the cohabitation of the world. All this belongs to our culture, both material and social, but also acoustic.

Our acoustic “education” orients us towards the “clean” sound, the perfect sound, the infallible sound, the known sound, and consequently towards the elimination of “sound rejects” from the listening landscape.

To listen to the unlistenable, to move towards a culture that involves processes of reuse, where waste is valued and produces abundance, WKR was born.