As the Earth faces rapid climate change it’s time to take action to merge art and science in order to clearly communicate ecological concerns. Part of my artistic practice is dedicated to providing a body of work to reflect ecological change in order to better understand the evolution of the living planet.

Bug Data is an audio-visual artwork that reflects the impact of damming on our waterways through the study of migration and displacement of non-human species. This is achieved by using the creative application of data visualization and sonification. By combining my artistic practice with scientific research I aim to give voice to unseen creatures that live in our waterways. Bug data extracts data of macroinvertebrates gathered from dammed rivers in the North West of England. Hydrologists evaluate a rivers health by measuring the migration of water based species at different locations along a rivers path. I have developed and programmed a visual interface to access and transmit the data across a network to a sound synthesis algorithm. All of 113 water based species are identified by a unique sound tag mapped onto a virtual map. The data is gathered from the tributaries of Haweswater reservoir situated in the Lake District in the North West of England. The listener is able to hear and see the variation of macroinvertebrates from a series of abstracted waterways. The piece can be performed using a live coded algorithm that displays visual maps, computer images and hand drawn sketches. The data samples of macro-vertebrates have been kindly supplied by Dr. Francois Edwards of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Latour, Bruno, Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climate Regime, Trans. by Catherine Porter, Polity, 2018.
Schellnhuber, H. J. ‘Earth System’ analysis and the second Copernican Revolution, 1999. Nature, Vol 402, (1999), 19-23

Appendix: Additional Information
Order in society and nature has become a political revolution were subject becomes a paradigramtic shift towards inventing a multplicity of disciplines. Extract from Anthropocene HKW Lecture: Bruno Latour (2018)
Hobbs sense of political tradition – Richard Powers The Other Story – a story of our poltical relationship to trees

What is a macroinverbrate?

Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini


1. bugData (2019) mp3

    Hand drawn sketches of an imaginary creatures in environments © mark pilkington 2019.