Art Installation Transforms Real-Time Data From A Polluted River Into Sound

Art Installation Transforms Real-Time Data From A Polluted River Into Sound
Design

Artist Brian House incorporated data and sound to create a comment on the ecological degradation of rivers

Weronika Jurkiewicz
  • 2 may 2017

As a reaction to the 2015 Gold King Mine incident, where three million gallons of contaminated wastewater was released to the Animas River, artist Brian House made an installation which transforms real-time data from water quality sensors into sound.

The project, entitled Animas, is composed of four suspended panels of industry-processed metal made of iron-oxidized steel, aluminum, copper, and lead respectively, symbolizing the metals that exceed the EPA standards in the river. A microphone and an audio transducer are attached on one end to the metal panels and on the other to an amplifier, causing the metal to vibrate at various frequencies which in turn creates sound. The quality of the sound is then adjusted based on the data from the sensors.

“Animas resists over-simplified representations of environmental degradation, creating a felt relationship to the river.” House wrote on his website. “It acknowledges how our limited temporal sensibilities are challenged by the imbrication of the geologic time of minerals, the historical time of extractive industries, and the immediate urgency of sane and equitable responses to rapid ecological change.”

The piece was commissioned by the University of Denver’s Vicki Myhren Gallery and you can listen to a snippet below.


Brian House

As a reaction to the 2015 Gold King Mine incident, where three million gallons of contaminated wastewater was released to the Animas River, artist Brian House made an installation which transforms real-time data from water quality sensors into sound.

+arts
+Arts & Culture
+Culture
+Design
+installation
+sensor
+Sound
+Sustainability
+Sustainability

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