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 combining the creative application of data visualization and sonification to form an audio-visual composition. The aim of the piece is to provide a voice to unseen creatures that live in our waterways through the translation of 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 custom-designed visual interface accesses and transmits data across a network to a sound synthesis algorithm. All of 112 water based species are identified by a unique sound tag mapped onto a virtual map. The data has been gathered from the tributaries of Haweswater reservoir situated in the Lake District in the North West of England. The listener can hear and see variation of macroinvertebrates species from abstracted waterways. The piece is performed using a live coded algorithm to display visual maps, computer images and hand drawn sketches. The data 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)
Figure 2. bugData live at Thought Universe June 2020. Commissioned by Art In Flux.
bugData explores the inherent spatial properties of ecological data through the composition of audio-visual music. As the Earth faces rapid climate change its imperative that a revaluation of art and science takes place in order to better communicate ecological concerns. My artistic practice is dedicated to providing a body of work that reflects ecological transformation as nature as process.
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.