"Arctic Immersion" is part of the Qualcomm Institute's IDEAS series. For a list of upcoming performances, visit http://ideas.calit2.net/performances.php.
IDEAS: Arctic Immersion w/ Peter Fee
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Host: Lei Liang, Professor of Music, UC San Diego
5:00pm Calit2 Auditorium
Arctic Immersion is an audiovisual experience that strings together an acoustic soundscape of an Arctic Ocean environment, data from historic ocean and climate observations and abstract graphics generated from natural materials to produce a captivating and moving experience of rapidly changing conditions at the top of the world.
With the advancement of acoustic technology, biological oceanographers are now able to record underwater sound continuously for years at a time and in many places around the world. With the help of computers we can detect and identify individual sounds in years of recordings from one location or many, but no person could ever listen to them all. We learn many things about what sounds animals make, when they are present seasonally in different areas, and even some aspects of their lives like mating, but we can never actually hear what that environment sounds like through time. We listen to minutes of the sound, maybe hours or days. We listen to and study the sounds of particular animals, but we haven't been able to truly 'hear' the underwater world.
This curated “Arctic Soundscape” allows us for the first time to hear a full year underwater at a location far offshore in the Chukchi Sea, north of Alaska. We hear days as seconds, which carry us through weeks, months, and seasons, through ice formation and consolidation to breakup and open water, and through the migrations of whole populations of Arctic animals like bowhead whales and belugas. We can 'hear' storms and winter winds come and go. With help, we may be able to recognize with our ears all the Inuit seasons of ice and snow and melt and open water--there are at least six. For much of the year, this location is as inaccessible to most of us as the surface of our moon. In 365 seconds, this soundscape carefully reproduces a year of underwater recordings, the changing ocean background noise, and all of the things in it, which create the acoustic environment.
We can hear a year in one lonely part of the Arctic Ocean.
Peter Fee, Audio Artist
Josh Tonies, Visual Artist
Josh Jones, Ocean Acoustics Expert and Soundscape Artist
Madeline Hamann, Science Advisor and Artistic Collaborator
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