Owl Project & Ed Carter: ~Flow (2012)
From March to early September, an interactive and responsive artspace sat on the River Tyne across from the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, producing John Cage-like music as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. ~Flow was a floating watermill containing three “electro-acoustic” musical machines that interpreted the river’s temperature, tides, salinity, and overall murkiness. Wired UK explains the machines in the September issue:
…the Salinity Sampler Sequencer, plays a melody according to the salinity of 12 water samples - the saltier the water, the higher the pitch. Another, the Turbidatron, generates sound from water muddiness, or turbidity, responding to clouds of particles as they break a laser’s path. The symphony of digital synths, splashing water and mechanical squeaks and groans is streamed online, and real-time water chemistry data is outputted to cosm.com.
~Flow was a collaborative project of the art collective Owl Project, producer and musician Ed Carter, and architect Nicky Kirk with the help of many other engineers, designers, and cultural producers. Its basic function was to allow visitors to interact with real-time sounds generated from nature. This could be done in person or remotely via streaming audio and a live web-visualization by Moritz Stefaner and Stephan Thiel (documented here). Watch an overview video of the project on Vimeo to see how it was made and hear it in action.
(via Wired UK)
Credit: Illustration by Nicky Kirk. Photos by Jill Tate. Courtesy of Owl Project.