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2020 / MEDIA ART

The project explores the imprint that living things leave in the world, creating a different way of perceiving audio information by encoding the communication audio signals of belugas into landscape elements.

Our auditory perception processes the signals that belugas send to the environment. The environment for belugas is water, spreading their sounds, screams and vibration from expelling stale air from their blowhole during breathing. These signals form an auditory landscape representing the presence of belugas in the world, opening up opportunities for communication with them. However, people cannot perceive this picture through auditory means.

The landscape becomes a medium for transmitting audio signals (instead of air or water), a platform for their interpretation and dialogue of views.


Maria Kuptsova

The project was included in the international compilation
"The Aesthetics of Biodiversity"
bringing together the projects of digital artists studying
ecological issues

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To create the audio landscape, we used data obtained in the study of acoustic and kinematic behavior of white whales in captivity (Pereverzev A.A., Kuznetsov M.Yu., Kuznetsov Yu.A., Naumov D.G., Sirenko V.G., Sirenko G.V.) in 2019.

Observations of animals and recording of their acoustic signals were carried out at the BIMM of the Primorsky Oceanarium from October 6 to October 31, 2019. The number of belugas in the hydrophone area is four females 6-7 years old. In total, about 67 hours of recordings were received during the research period.

Of all the entries, entries containing key patterns of beluga behavior were selected. The recording data was resampled and processed, the parameters of the frequency oscillations were used as the starting points for the coordinate system.

We developed a generative algorithm that processes the sound signals of belugas. The signals serve as the starting coordinates of the coordinate axes.

The X axis represents the curves of the audio signals forming the audio landscape.

During the operation of the algorithm, the Y axis connects the X curves with additional lines. This deforms the landscape and creates a new auditory landscape obtained during the interaction of the two signals.

The project graphics were made in a software package for working with three-dimensional graphics - Houdini, developed by Side Effects Software.





The next stage in the development of the project is a landscape created by processing the sound signals of beluga whales, which dynamically changes in time (forming and deforming). The speed and direction of this change is controlled by an audio track, which is a processed recording of beluga signals.

A person not only observes, but also interacts with the landscape, addressing his signals inside this system, building communication between human and non-human agents through the collision of sound waves.

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