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EMOCEAN: Sound Art meets Environmental Philosophy

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

Artist: A Maree

Cover Art by A Maree

Emocean was inspired by environmental philosophy and the plastic pollution crisis in our oceans. I am interested in the artistic means that can be used to direct people’s attention to an environmental problem.

Specifically, I was bothered by this question: how should one organise a sound composition to ensure that it increases awareness of the environmental crisis posed by plastic pollution? To address this issue, I think that emotions are key motivational factors. Consequently, I tried to influence people’s emotions and beliefs through the evocative power of narrative through compositional sound recordings.

Emocean was created by recording aerial and underwater soundscapes that occur at Nightcliff as well as other locations in the Darwin region. I then mixed these soundscapes with sounds of plastic materials that I associate with the environmental crisis caused by plastic pollution. I organised the composition to invite the listener to imagine the drama of a sentient being confronted by the invasion of plastics in its ecological sphere. Lastly, I included a recording of my own heartbeat to embody the living agency of that creature and metaphorically represent my empathy for animal rights.

As someone who can easily experience sound-induced stress and sensitivity, the act of composing this piece had a remedial dimension. By manipulating sounds, I learned to control my own acoustic environment and emotional responses to sonic events. In contrast to my experience as a visual artist, I learned that sound compositions have a unique way of triggering extraordinary imaginings.

To listen, please click button below

Thank You

Mentor: Nicolas Bullot

Mentor: Jane Anderson for sharing your knowledge in cyanotype


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