dripping, creaking flowing is a narrative sound map of Antarctica that shows both how the landscape changes over time as well as the human side of the soundscape, through memory and fabrication. To experience the project, visit drippingcreaking.stream .
What did you create?
dripping, creaking flowing is a narrative sound map of Antarctica that shows both how the landscape changes over time as well as the human side of the soundscape, through memory and fabrication. The map is a collaborative work-in-progress with Grant Macdonal (PhD, University of Chicago), an Antarctic hydrologist. It documents the hydrologist’s memory of a rapidly changing landscape through sounds recorded entirely in studio. By using Foley techniques to imitate the sounds from the hydrologist’s memory, the project aims to point at the human-made quality of "natural" environments in the era of the Capitalocene, when all places have been touched by human economic and social systems. Instead of relying on objective documentation of the soundscape, this project focuses on how the sound is filtered through memory and emotion, emphasizing subjective emotional connections to the remote landscape of Antarctica.
Why did you make it?
The goal of this project is to close the distance between data and comprehension, using sound in conjunction with the spatial nature of the data to evoke a sense of place. This project challenges the binary dividing science and art through qualitative augmentation of empirical observations. Ultimately, this augmentation builds an understanding of the data and its significance by creating meaningful experience for the audience, providing a foundation for action.
How did you make it?
Rather than document the sounds of Antarctica through field recordings from the hydrologist’s travels, we recreated the sounds using foley techniques, as is often done in audio for film. The machinery heard at an airstrip, for example, is sourced and edited from recordings made at a construction site in Chicago. In a studio, we stomped on granulated sugar to mimic the crunching of boots on snow. These recordings are then placed on an interactive digital map of the areas of Antarctica MacDonald has traveled to. The result blurs the boundaries between documentation and recollection. Wood believes the project “focuses on how sound is filtered through memory and emotion,” and that it reflects “the human-made quality of ‘natural’ environments in [an] era … when all places have been touched by human economic and social systems.”
Your entry’s specification
This project only exists digitally at the moment, at www.drippingcreaking.stream. Digital webpage, stereo sound, 2019.