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Audible ancient landscapes connect science and art

‘Ground-breaking’ is a unique installation, offering a linkage between art and science, and a collaboration between environmental scientist Dr Paul Adderley (University of Stirling) and composer Dr Michael Young (Goldsmiths, University of London).

It will feature at Prague's forthcoming Event 3 Festival and conference ‘Mutamorphosis: Challenging the Arts and Sciences,’ a radical international gathering of scientists and creative practitioners, including Stelarc.

In the unusual exhibit, a computer explores and represents on screen nearly 10,000 years of soil records, revealing them in different colours and perspectives. The images are accompanied by sounds shaped by the computer using scientific information taken from the soil itself:

‘Ground-breaking’ seeks to illuminate and makes audible ancient landscapes by combining microscopic images of early soil samples with a ‘sonification’ of data associated with them. Other source materials, photographic and phonographic, are brought together with this material in a dynamic, computer-generated audiovisual work that slowly evolves over time.

Michael Young said “‘Ground-breaking’ reflects growing concern – and need for new understandings – about how peoples relate to their environment across the whole world, both today and in the future. We want to see how the content of the vast data sets produced by investigation of climate change can be explored and critiqued in novel ways. The challenge is to realise in image and sound impressions and specific understandings of data, to go beyond mere imaging and 'sonification' and produce a bone fide way to develop creative ideas and give new meanings.”

‘Ground-breaking’ was initiated with funding from the Research Councils UK.

Sarah Empey | alfa
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