STREAMING NATURE

Live relocation of nature sound to where nature does not exist



"Most people are on the world, not in it - having no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them - undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate."

- John Muir

Streaming Nature is a live relocation of sound from nature to where nature does not exist. It is an interactive installation that connects the audience to nature environments in real-time by sound. It relocates the live soundscape of Antarctica, Pacific Ocean (underwater) near Maui, South Africa and Seal Island (off coast Rockland) to the phone network. Participants are invited to make local phone calls (using their own cell phones) to listen to the sound at these nature sites. No sounds are pre-recorded. The experience is enhanced by viewing a visualization of world map, represented by clusters of particles, which swarm under the influence of waves. The locations of nature sites on the map are indicated by LCDs, which also show the phone number and local time of the corresponding site. Any phone call made by participants will trigger a local disturbance at the site being called, and the disturbance will generate waves which imitate sound vibrations, and slowly propagate out and influence the entire world.

Sound is essentially particle vibration, resulting in mechanical waves. Therefore, listening to sound from a distant environment is a process of experiencing the mechanical activities in that distant location. Real-timeliness implies spaceless. Technology sets us free from the limit of distance. This work facilitates a system to contact with nature for anyone at anytime from anywhere by streaming nature soundscape to the phone system - which is readily accessible to most people. Natural and unnatural are opposite but interwoven. While bringing the audience "closer" to Mother Nature, this work subtly controverts against itself on several fundamental questions: Does the use of technology make us closer or further away from nature? Is embedding technology in nature an intervention?


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