This project stems from my Sewing Sonifications series but incorporates a new video/sound work and presents the embroidery as framed artworks.

My collaboration with UW Oceanographic Scientist Dr. Neil Banas has been an exploration into using data from ecosystem models along the Washington coast to create a tangible experience of research through art. The artwork consists of embroidered ecosystem models, video visualization of the models and tide, and a sonification of the ecosystem models through headphones.

Each of the five embroidery panels presents a sonified computer model simulation of growth and consumption of plankton in the ocean ecosystem along the Washington coast.  The five dimensions in this data are: wind (1) and tides (2) drive the currents and turbulence that bring nutrients (3) to the surface. Once in the zone where sunlight penetrates, phytoplankton (4) grow, zooplankton (5) eat the phytoplankton, and so on up the food chain.  The sound is a sonification of the five dimensions in the data and the video is a visulaization of the models with incoming tides.

The central method in my work is to use underlying systems of data translating them into evocative experiences. I am inspired by what art historian and critic Caroline Jones calls “interrogative practice with technology”. She describes this as “ work that repurposes or remakes devices to enhance their insidious or wondrous properties; available data translated into sensible systems”. My process of translating data into sound and visual material is usually conducted in collaboration with a scientist who has designed the data collection. The sonification and visualization of this data through art makes the research visible, audible and palpable.

Funded by 4Culture, Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs

Five Embroidery Panels, Video, Sound

Waveforms (2010)

Link to video/sound here