Open Tuning (WaveUp)

Open Tuning (WaveUp) is a kinetic sound installation that translocates a remote ocean environment, in real-time, to an urban gallery space. This project uses speakers connected via the Internet to Fisheries and Oceans Canada wave data buoys in order to translate data into motion and sound. The ocean's behavior is mirrored in real-time throughout the installation space. Ocean waves become sound waves.

The ocean's currents directly affect regional and global climates, but its physical force and influence have no representation in the urban landscape. Even living in the city of Halifax, with such proximity to the ocean, it is difficult to perceive the enormous and influential body of water next door. It is intriguing that there exist a gulf between the palpable experience of two environments that are so closely inter-connected. This relationship goes both ways as the city, of course, also has a direct influence on the global climate through pollution, heat generation, etc. The inter-connectedness of geographically separate and dis-similar environments is the major theme in this project. To address this theme, WaveUp aims to give people real access to a remote natural environment that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Water and sound are characteristically very similar, so much so that water analogies are often used when describing the physics of sound. For example, consider a pebble being thrown into a calm pond. Ring-shaped waves form around the place where the pebble impacts the water and travel out in all directions, becoming weaker and weaker until finally vanishing. Sound waves travel through the air in a similar way. Ears respond specifically to rapid fluctuations in air pressure (sound) but the entire body is responsive to sound, especially at lower frequencies. Sound waves surround the body and travel endlessly until they run into an obstruction or weaken to the point of vanishing, filling up all available space like water in the ocean. In the WaveUp project, the aural environment of the installation space becomes a real extension of the ocean environment. Sound replaces water.

Thank you:
Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage
Centre for Art Tapes
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
Centre des arts actuels Skol
Eastern Edge Gallery
Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Odd Gallery
Truck Gallery
Galerie d'art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen del l'Universite de Moncton