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Eucida Residency Report: Elise Alloin and Stéphane Clor

During the residency Elise Alloin and Stéphane Clor explored the possibility of using different types of data that could present interest in their  researches, finally deciding to choose the water’s reflectance (Rrs) as a base to develop an artistic form.


Stéphane Clor 

Stéphane Clor is by training, a musician, sound technician and an acoustician, who ventured into the digital and transdisciplinary art in order to explore the connection between sound, space, movement, and spontaneity. His main interest lies in describing the moment – what happens right now, at the peak focus and tension, when perpetual decision-making influences the outcome in a way that could not have been a priori determined.

Élise Alloin

Élise Alloin's research engages the contemporary notions of landscape, no-man's land, devices, "in-situ" that imply  bodies and the memory of experience, without which there would never be any question of * live *, nor the construction of * places *.


Report:

The residency in Lūznava Manor was a very rich experience where we gave a lot of impetus to our project. The Manor’s surrounding is fabulous and presents the perfect conditions to work and to think about the project in a very calm and creative way. We had the possibility to meet different local actors of Eucida’s network who were extremely nice and helpful to support us in our researches. Even the Manor is not very equipped in term of material, everyone gave the best to make us comfortable. The small locality of Lūznava is a very special context where a military school is currently built up and where inhabitants are not many and quite isolated. There is an atmosphere of abandon as well as a luxuriant nature around. This context let us with some considerations to think about despite of the extremely beautiful human and artistic experience.

Following is a sum up of different points we discussed and worked on during the residency. We also had an important skype meeting during our stay with Mireck Darecki, polish oceanographer, specialist of the bloom in baltic see and satellite’s specific data. He has been a very helpful contact to consider the feasibility of our ideas.

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Data translation

During the residency we explored the possibility to use different type of data that could present interest to our researches. The photic zone (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photic_zone) and the density of chlorophyll-a presented good advantaged in terms of detection of the cyanobacterias’ bloom but we finally decided to choose the water’s reflectance (Rrs) as a base to develop an artistic form. The choice has been lead by our will to focus on the rawest data available from the satellite and by consequence the most basic expression of the sea’s color. Those data correspond to the sun light’s reflection intensity according to its wave length. It allows different measurements and especially to
detect the bloom by a anormal modification of the color balance. Working on the water color also allows us to keep a very abstract and poetic way to consider the phenomenon. From the beginning we wanted to use sound in order to interpret the data and to create an immersive situation in the installation. In order to do that we statued on two ways to give a sound dimension to the bloom:

- First it will be a translation of light waves into sound waves by proportionally transposing the wave lengths and the intensity of the sea’s reflection. We expect to create a kind of static situation also related to the idea of « waiting ». The differents soundwaves will be fragmented in the space and the soudnscape will vary according to the listener's position. The movement will then create a form of musicality. This idea of movement tries to reflect the point of view of the satelite which also vary according to its position.
- The second expression of the data through sound will be connected to the notion of silence. We decide to play an undersea field recording in the installation and to make it disappear as the bloom will appear. The idea is lead by the idea of anoxia that the bloom is provoking and by consequences the destruction of the sea's ecosystem.

As we discussed during the skype meeting, it will be needed to our project to use a hydrophone (hydroponic microphone) in order to make the most precise sound recording of the underwater ecosystem. In that sense, we expect to organise a boat tour in the baltic.

notes :
sources : http://satbaltyk.iopan.gda.pl

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Location

The available data from the satellite are enormous. We had an hard work to select which are the most relevant to our project and we finally chosen the water’s reflectance (Rrs). We also decided that according to the location of the presentation of the work we will define a specific geographic zone to analyse. After our skype meeting with Mireck Darecki, we understood that the bloom do not necessary appear every year in every location of the sea, but that it is very hard to predict where and when, even for specialists. In order to make the work coincide to the real problems of science researches, we thought that changing the locality of analysis will show up the difficulties that face the international community of scientists also in its ecological and political issues.

notes :
- baltic see is shared between 9 different countries

Space dimension

Our common work will also focus on the space dimension of the bloom, by showing the paradox of the size scale of human being compare to the size of the technology developed by itself. Indeed it is only by the development of satellite technology that one has been able to measure the scale of the phenomenon. In addition, this enormous thing which is the bloom is only composed of microscopic elements. There is here a question of scales that we would like to make appear in the installation, by notably place the viewer « underwater », in an immersive situation.

notes :
- the size scale of human being and the technology developed
- the point of view from above and below
- the underwater - place the visitor in a specific condition (immersive)
- a large phenomenon made of microscopic elements

Visual

The visual of the installation is not yet completely defined, but we plan to use the calculation of lightwaves to color the exhibition space in a very minimalistic way. Also, we may use digital video particles. The installation will be adapted according to the exhibition space’s parameters.

notes :
- video lightning, mapping and the color of spectrum
- visual and sound balance (dynamic)
- the piece adapted to the exhibition place

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Sound(s)

The installation will use a system of sonification to translate data into a sound/musical form. In that way, we will create a program, base and Pure Data (https://puredata.info/) in order to make coincide transformation of the baltic sea’s reflectance with the sound frequencies. As previously explain, those frequencies will change very slowly to the point that it won’t be easy for the listener to perceive the changing. It will be more like the feeling of something imperceptible, because of its vastness, but that has real consequences. More technically we expect to create a installation composed of different speakers and bass boxes to invite the listener into an immersive situation. The other part of the sound will be a fragmented underwater field recording that will proportionally disappear according to the appearance of the blooming. We plan to make some underwater sound recordings of the baltic sea’s ecosystem. To show up that sea is not a inert space but full of living creatures part of a overall ecosystem. This sound recordings will be decomposed in ranges of frequencies and played on the installation’s sound system. As the blooming will appear the sound of underwater life will disappear. Through that absence, we expect to focus on the phenomena of anoxia that provoke the bloom of cyanobacterias. The human activity and pollution of the sea slowly stifle the ecosystem, provoke extinction and death.

notes :
- reflectance into sound wave (statism - the listener goes trough space (body investment)) bass boxes, vibration, ground —> the ground of all the ressources )
- underwater sound field recording ( sound is life - blooming is changing the ecosystem - anoxie ) the soundscape fragmented in spectral slices and recomposed by the position of the listener. human scale to technological scale. Digital as the extension of human perception.


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