bugData is an audio-visual composition that reflects the impact of damming on waterways by studying the migration and displacement of non-human species. Achieved by using the creative application of data visualization and sonification to form a sound based composition. The aim is to give voice to the unseen creatures that live in our waterways by translating scientific research into music. bugData extracts data of macroinvertebrates gathered from dammed rivers in the North West of England. Hydrologists evaluate a rivers health by measuring the migration of fresh water based species at different locations along a rivers path. A visual interface has been programmed to access and transmit the data across a network to a sound synthesis algorithm. All of 112 water based species are identified by a unique sound tag when is then mapped onto a virtual map. The data used 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 displaying visual maps, computer images and hand drawn sketches. The data samples of macro-vertebrates has been kindly supplied by Dr. Francois Edwards of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
1. bugData (2020) mp3 (Sound Stem).
Figure 1. Excerpt of bugData (2020)
bugData is interested in exploring the inherent spatial properties of ecological data in the composition of electroacoustic music.
As the Earth faces rapid climate change its imperative that a merger of art and science takes place to communicate ecological concerns. Part of my artistic practice is dedicated to providing a body of work that reflects ecological transformation.
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?
Hand drawn sketches of an imaginary creatures and location of macroinvertabrate samples.