In my Participatory Sound Installations, I create an aesthetic and embodied way of exploring scientific knowledge. The sounds, the lights, the environment, and active actions come together to foster participants’ imagination with curiosity and a pallet of emotions, helping to rediscover a world that is radically changing. In this piece, I build a bridge between scientific novelties and our sensorial perceptions, crafting a playful relation between science, art, and technology.
I AM THE OCEAN (work in progress)
The sounding result of this installation is a forceful, immersive, and mysterious experience, that aims for the listeners’ imagination to feel the changing and raising tides of our world.
To set this installation I need shallow waters: a lake, the sea, or a pool. A place where the audience can immerse themselves in water and sound, walk around and reflect on this climate emergency while feeling the sonifyed pulse of the raising tides.
Still a work in progress! At the moment I am trying to find funding to prepare the CO2 measuring device, and write some code to create mappings between CO2 values and the live sonification. I am also thinking about how should the machine learning algorithm relate to the new CO2 inputs and the historical data. This is a BIG question because the input methods are not quite the same… but how does it make sense artistically? Besides, I need a sound company, that is concerned about climate emergencies, to borrow me +10 Powerful Bluetooth Waterproof Speakers. WOOOOW, a lot going on! but I am very excited, aren’t you?!
Imagine the process and the installation.
1. For this installation, I want to place ten JBL waterproof speakers floating in the shallow waters of Amagerstrand. To make them float, I will attach them to plastic bottles working as buoys. The ten speakers are going to be connected via Bluetooth to a mini computer (raspberry pi), which is going to be playing a live sonification created through the measurement of CO2 in the atmosphere
2. The measurement of CO2 is going to be captured by a sensor next to this computer. With these numbers, the computer predicts the sea level based on a predictive algorithm. Basically, we are sonifying the environment through this algorithm, which learned how to predict sea level based on the historical data provided with the data sets. check the video ->
3. People are invited to walk around the speakers in the water and feel the vibration of the sound. As with the previous pieces, they will have a QR code to scan, and read about the installation and the way they can interact with it.
Accessing the PDF through the QR code.
PDF page 1. The page contains an introduction and instructions, which are meant to reinforce the purpose of the installation, making sure that the participants make use of the tools offered to convey the experience. The participant is instructed to Walk around the speakers in the water:
by walking around the speakers, people can feel the vibration of the sound in the water or listen to the sonifications from the speakers that are not fully submerged. The participants are also welcome to dive and listen to the speakers which are underwater to perceive the live-predictive sonifications in another sounding environment.
PDF page 2. On this page, the participants can read a scientific text next to a poetic reflection on ocean pollution. Both texts aim to confront the participant with an opposite perspective on the same issue. The participant will find in addition to scientific facts, a poetic reflection on ocean contamination:
Hear the wind, that calmly whispers wordless infinities,
and feel the pulse, of the beating tides, in the rising minds.
“This is our soul shadow, the darkness we cannot own, the form we cannot name.” 1
So hear the wind, as your soul shadow and feel the form, that cannot be named. For we love and fear, in tender surrender. We love and fear, for a soulful end.
About this installation
The sounds for this installation were inspired by the book Hyperobjects by philosopher Timothy Morton, and the data for the sonifications was taken from the EU Global Surface Water joint research center, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In this piece, I work with a predictive algorithm. The algorithm uses live-CO2 input to predict ocean rising levels. How? the code learns beforehand a relation between CO2 and the level of the ocean using historical data, so once it receives new CO2 input, it calculates a new value for the ocean level.
Why use live CO2 measurement? most of the CO2 we release into the atmosphere, e.g. from deforestation, is captured by our oceans, making it one of the most serious issues regarding ocean acidification and rising levels. By using a live measurement, the sonification sounds different in Copenhagen (Denmark), in Recife (Brazil), in a harbor, or in the middle of the pacific. By knowing this, we create in our minds an interrelation between the place we inhabit, the air we breathe, our biosphere, and climate change, as the CO2 we release into the air impacts directly the levels of the ocean.
Check out more Participatory Sound Installations HERE