Aquatocene / Subaquatic quest for serenity

Aquatocene / Subaquatic quest for serenity 

by Robertina Šebjanič

since 2016 – ongoing project

The audio compositions of the subaquatic soundscape encourage us to reflect upon the anthropogenic sonic impact on the underwater habitat and marine life, as well as illuminate awareness and underscore the importance of maintaining safe sound environments for animals living in the world’s oceans, seas, lakes and rivers.

 

»Aquatocene / The subaquatic quest for serenity« investigates the phenomenon of underwater noise pollution created by humankind in the seas and oceans.  The sound compositions are a re-mix between the bioacoustics of marine life (shrimps, fish, sea urchins etc.), the aquatic acoustics and the presence of human generated noise in the world’s oceans and seas.

Over the last few years Robertina has made a number of recordings using hydrophones in different locations around the globe. Underwater noise effects a great number of marine life forms which depend on the sub-aquatic sonic environment to survive.

Despite the broad availability of popular aquatic sounds, we aren’t really aware that the underwater soundscape is as rich as the one heard by terrestrial creatures above water. Aside from lacking experience in terms of the fascinating diversity of marine sound, we are also not aware that sonic pollution caused by humans is already changing the soundscape of the waters and even the communication of its inhabitants.

When we look up to the sky, look into space and wonder about what is up there we sometimes forget that there is still a lot left for us to explore on the planet we live on. We know more about space than we know about the world’s seas and oceans, especially when it comes to sound perception underwater. We are usually unaware of the vibrant underwater acoustics, the sounds of the ocean’s depths. Our familiarity with these sounds is usually limited to the sound of a wave crashing into land. Whales, shrimp, seals, dolphins, and a variety of other creatures of the deep live in a watery ­sonic environment.

Technological interventions into the ocean soundscape by ships, sonars and sound cannons (used in oil exploration) can create huge disturbances in fragile marine habitats and have been connected to a number of effects ranging from the beaching of whales to the »Lombard effect« where certain species themselves become louder to overcome background noise, thereby gradually increasing the intensity of the entire habitat.

Subaquatic color final HR - new

Water habitats cover over 70% of the Earth’s surface. 97% of the world’s water is saltwater, 2% is fresh water in the form of ice and only the remaining 1% is drinking water, which is distributed around the planet very unevenly. The exploration of an ecosystem requires detailed study and observation. The ocean is the most complex, challenging, and harsh environment on Earth and accessing it requires specially designed tools and technology. The technological advances have finally reached the point 50 years ago that enables us to examine the ocean in a systematic, scientific, and non invasive way. Our ability to observe the ocean’s environment and its resident creatures has finally caught up with our imaginations and helped us to understand it in ways we could not even envision them before.

The lively sound image of the underwater environments, rivers, lakes, seas and oceans still represents the big unknown for the majority. In recent decades, advanced tools and the latest technology enabled us to explore underwater environments in a systematic, scientifically relevant and non-invasive way. We are thus able to identify the anthropogenic disturbances and noise that affect the underwater environment, as well as analyze their impacts.

Project Aquatocene is presented in fallowing media:
Album in series Aquatocene – 3 vinyls had been release in 2016.

The sound installation presents the compositions of the soundscape in the form of a continuous spheric loop using sound sources placed in different space points across the exhibition space.
An AV performance, which is mostly done by Robertina and sometimes Miha Ciglar is joining in. The creative and exploratory work of Robertina Šebjanič is focusing on living systems with particular attention to the (under)water sonic environments, whereas Miha Ciglar deals with the development of novel instruments and the directional audio system that is used in the performance.

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Aquatocene / Subaquatic quest for serenity 

prerelease of vinyls – premiered as an installation an performance at the exhibition MIG21 and Kiblix festival, Maribor 2016

AQUATOCENE VINYL I., VINYL II.,VINYL III.:

In 2016 Robertina made a release of 3 vinyls in the series Aquatocene in limited edition of 3 x 7 vinyls. The compositions on these vinyls are a mix between the bioacoustics of marine life (shrimps, fish, sea urchins etc.), the aquatic acoustics and the presence of human generated noise in the world’s oceans and seas.

Aquatocene nn barcamp: https://robertina.bandcamp.com/releases

 

 

Material for the sound scape compositions was recorded:

Aquatocene – 38°26’24.7″N 27°07’12.9″E // Aegean Sea – Izmir (TR)

Aquatocene – 42°38’26.5″N 18°06’20.4″E // Adriatic Sea – Dubrovnik (HR)

Aquatocene – 45°32’54.9″N 13°42’20.1″E // Adriatic Sea – Koper (SI)

Aquatocene- 48°43’38.2″N 3°59’33.4″W // Atlantic Ocean – Roscoff (FR)

Aquatocene – 60°24’49.2″N 5°16’54.9″E // North Sea – Bergen (NO)

Bergen – Recordings done during Pikslo deep diving / underwater interception of the nordic sea at Piksel festival:

 

Aquatocene / Subaquatic quest for serenity vinyls records

Aquatocene / Subaquatic quest for serenity
vinyls  by Robertina Šebjanič

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Aquatocene / Subaquatic quest for serenity

AV performance

The project is also presented as an AV performance, which is mostly done by Robertina and sometimes guest Miha Ciglar is joining in. The creative and exploratory work of Robertina Šebjanič is focusing on living systems with particular attention to the (under)water sonic environments, whereas Miha Ciglar deals with the development of novel instruments and the directional audio system that is used in the performance.

 

Performance at Kiblix festival was done with invited guest Miha Ciglar and Acouspade™Directional Speaker ||photo by Kibla || video by Tanja Grosman

aquatocene - performance Kiblix

 

 

Aquatocene / Subaquatic audio – visual performance and lecture by Robertina Šebjanič at Kosmica festival, at Laboratorio Arte Alameda at Mexico City || photo by Kosmica archive

robertina-eduardomedina-a

Aquatocene at Kosmica festival at Laboratorio Arte Alameda.

 

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Aquatocene / Subaquatic quest for serenity

The sound installation Aquatocene presents the compositions in the form of a continuous spheric loop using sound sources placed in different space points across the exhibition space.

mig21-dela_0055-aquatocene

 

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Aquatocene / Subaquatic quest for serenity

Credits:

Artist (development / sound recording / sound editing): Robertina Šebjanič 

Aquatocene Vinyls I., II., II., released 2016

Production support:Kibla, Bunker, Zavod Praksa, Piksel festival, 1.camp residency program at Roscoff Marine Station

Special thanks to: Annick Bureaud, Miha Ciglar, Acouspade™Directional Speaker, MY studio- Yann Jaffiol, UR Institute, Slavko Glamočanin, PORTIZMIR#3

Project was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and MOL – Department for Culture, Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso 

 

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LIQUEFACTION an a-v performance

Robertina Šebjanič performs with Aquatocene vinyls and Carole Thibaud with her 16mm film recordings recorded during her residency at Roscoff Marine Station.

LIQUEFACTION, a-v performace by Robertina Šebjanič and Carole Thibaud

LIQUEFACTION, a-v performace by Robertina Šebjanič and Carole Thibaud

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Sound installation and performance at Mladi Levi festival, Ljubljana 2016

video recap of all the festival 2016:

Author: Robertina Šebjanič
Performance: Robertina Šebjanič and Miha Ciglar
Technical support: : Slavko Glamočanin
Produced by: PRAKSA – Agencija za sodobno raziskovalno umetnost and Bunker, Ljubljana 2016
Local producer: Katarina Slukan                                                                                                                    Guest of the project: Miha Ciglar

Text form the catalogue of the performance during the Mladi Levi festival, Ljubljana, 2016:

Despite the broad availability of popular aquatic sounds, the vocalizations of whales and dolphins or the calming sloshing of waves, we aren’t really aware that the underwater soundscape is as rich as the one heard by terrestrial creatures above water. Aside from the fascinating diversity of marine sound, sonic pollution caused by humans is sadly already changing the soundscape of the waters and even the communication of its inhabitants. The creative and exploratory work of Robertina Šebjanič has been focusing on living systems, with particular attention to the exploration of (under)water fauna, whereas Miha Ciglar deals with the development of novel instruments in search of new possibilities for audio expression. Using hydrophones, Šebjanič captured the underwater sounds of various seas to prepare her installation, a subaquatic soundscape that will be joined by Ciglar’s audio performative interventions. Let us listen to the ocean, then, not under the anthropocentric guise that its sound is the splashing of water against rock, but hearkening, instead, deep underwater.

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Ready to Change International Conference: NEW POLITICAL MYTHOLOGIES AND ART

Robertina Šebjanič, Victoria Vesna & James K. Gimzewski: SUBAQUATIC SOUND SCAPE

http://www.bunker.si/eng/archives/8523

 

In the entrance hall of Stara mestna elektrarna, Robertina Šebjanič did set up her Aquatocene – Subaquatic Soundscape, an installation that immerses visitors in the underwater sounds of the ocean recoded by the artist using a hydrophone across different seas. With her project Robertina Šebjanič brushes aside the veil of anthropocentric certainty that cannot see (or hear) beyond its own world, presenting the wealth of sounds found below the surface of the sea, in many ways even richer than those heard above water.

At the conference was Robertina together with Victoria Vesna and James K. Gimzewski, illuminate subjects addressed by the installation, such as the problems of noise and sound pollution affecting the seas and oceans, as well as other factors of pollution, from the nano-level of various toxins and plastic particles to the macro-level of global situations threatening the seas in the age of Anthropocene.