Nov 2022 - October 2023, Amstelpark, Amsterdam, NL.
Part of the Polyphonic Landscapes artisttic research project at Zone2Source Gallery, Amsterdam (NL), and in collaboration with ArtEZ professorhsip Theory in the Arts/ ArtEZ University (NL).
‘HydroFiles’ explores how live audio streaming engenders different modalities of being and listening with environments, in this case the waterways of Amsterdam.
At a time of digital saturation and accelerating planetary crisis, my project investigates the affordances and limitations of live audio streaming, making contributions to creative discourses on environmental sound and developing new approaches and compositional strategies for engaging audiences in listening events.
Method: In ‘live audio streaming’ , microphones are embedded in places semi-permanently; they transmit sound continuously from one location to many possiblelisteners over the internet. Through these ‘streamers’, it is possible to tune-in to the dawn chorus in Kolkata or a thunderous storm in the Dolomite Mountains in real-time. For some, live audio streaming is a symptom of the digital shift toward streaming everything. For others, it transforms the act of ‘listening to’ into ‘listening with’ environments, furthering an ethical reorientation to more-than-human life on a shared planet, and expanding geographic borders. Despite the ‘sonic turn’ in the environmental and geohumanities, this shift in listening is underexplored, yet it holds significant and urgent potential for our capacities to attune to a planet in an era of climate crisis.
Site: The waterways of Amsterdam, including drinking, sewage and surface water.
Amsterdam has an incredibly long history in watermanagement and a deep going relationship with water. One third of the Netherlands is below sealevel and the most of its land is build on sand.
River dikes prevent flooding from water flowing into the country by the major rivers Rhine and Meuse, while a complicated system of drainage ditches, canals, and pumping stations (historically: windmills) keep the low-lying parts dry for habitation and agriculture.
Situation: Since December 2022 I have an ongoing conversation with hydrological scientists Maarten Ouboter about ‘giving the water a voice’. Together we are locating and researching important acoustic landmarks and nodes that refect the diverse ecologies of the water networks in and around Amsterdam. Through the installation of live audio streams below and above sea and canal waters, I’m trying to untangle the ubiquity of the water flows and the city’s historical and geopolitical dependence on its relationship to water.
Listening since May 2023
With the support of hydrologist and water manager Marcel Van Der Blom, I’m In the process of installing live audio streams in the following locations:
Inside the canal under Berlagebrug (surface water)
Inside the bridge of Hortus Brug (surface water)
In the sanddunes outside of the city, powered by solarpanels (drinking water)
Research: The project focuses less on what live audio streaming is as a genre but more on what we can do with them and what they are as a material? I’m interested in what live audio streaming (real-time audio) does and what the differences are between ‘listening to field recordings’ (predetermined audio) and ‘listening to a live audio stream’ ( in a process of becoming ). I’m interested to open the possibility to a new music that is situated, telematic and speculative. A music that makes the case for the temporal shift in ecological listening.
How can communities of practice better understand the Anthropocene by listening to it?
How to create compositional strategies that use live audio streaming as a mediated tool to(re)connect with our dying planet?
How do these compositional strategies function, how to apply them in a critical arts-based context and shared (exhibition) space?
Installing solar powered live audio stream in XXXX, NL