generative sound object


Adnan Softić , Nina Softić

Thies Mynther


DATA MANAGEMENT: Dr. Sebastian Mieruch, Jan Münther

TECHNICAL TEAM: Pascal Staudt, Martin Edelmann, Chris von Rautenkranz, Jan Münther, Juan Duarte


SCIENTIFIC CONSULTING: Dr. Mario Hoppmann, Dr. Giulia Castellani, Dr. Ingrid Linck Rosenhaim , Dr. Hauke Flores, Dr. Dorothea Bauch, Prof. Dr. Jennifer Hutchings

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Prof. Dr. Marcus Rex, Prof. Dr. Alberto De Campo, Dr. Hinrich Thölken, Daniela Berglehn, Tirdad Zolghadr, Prof. Dr. Matthew Shupe, Dr. Serdar Sakinan, Dr. Jacqueline Stefels,  Dr. Sandra Tippenhauer

We thank all those who contributed to MOSAiC and made this endeavour possible.

Alfred Wegener Institute, Visit Stipendium E.ON Stiftung, Graduirtenschule UDK, MOSAiC, University of Colorado, Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien

klimatonARCTIC≈ 2020 is a research- and practice-based work that addresses the problem of communicability of scientific facts in the context of climate change in the form of a generative sound installation.

The work is connected to an extraordinary event in scientific research: At the end of 2020, the research expedition MOSAiC (Alfred Wegener Institute) returned from its Arctic voyage, having spent more than a year collecting data with a kilometre-long network of measuring stations. It is the largest scientific data collection from the region ever and possibly also one of the last large-scale recording  of a disappearing landscape that is considered by scientists to be "the key witness of climate change".

The incredible amounts of data are now awaiting their long-term evaluations, which should give  us conclusions about climate change with the help of highly complex analyses. The first interim evaluations are already highly worrying - the global warming is much greater than expected. However, it remains more than questionable whether a fundamental rethinking will result from these new insights at all. In our opinion, these facts mark one of the greatest paradoxes of our epoch: On the one hand, we have the ability to read out non-visible alterations with the help of highly complex measurements, and on the other hand, there is the social inability and unwillingness of the world community to trust these measurements. From this perspective,  climate pollution has always been also a communication problem.

Collective responsibility is unimaginable without collective remembrance. In the digital space, however, we are no longer talking about remembrance, but about memory (information storage). Large data archives are by no means a solution to the problem, but only a tactical postponement, in the worst case even another way of suppression. So what is missing are techniques that generate a vitalization of "dead" information with energy. Or as Christian Boltanski put it: "The mass of documents makes the world invisible. If the filters are not there to give things meaning, everything remains useless."

In our opinion, such vitalization processes cannot be left to sciences and rationality alone. A transition of the archives  into the collective remembrance can possibly only happen through detours. Perhaps through irrationality? Through affects? Or through discredited emotions?

Together with a group of MOSAIC scientists and the sound designer and composer Thies Mynther, we are currently developing a sound instrument that outputs the data from the Arctic as sound -    a sonified record of a disappearing landscape. The data of different categories of landscape are played using human voices as the keynote, modulating them and creating a strange choral voice. The earth assimilates the human voice and makes it "speak the language of the earth" -  a "geological turn", a reversed network of relationships in which the landscape is playing the human and not the other way round.  
Against the backdrop of a "crisis of culture" (Amitav Ghosh) and its inability to create new forms for an overall responsibility, we understand our work as a search for new ways of raising awareness, thus promoting an emotional-intellectual approach to climate discourses and expanding them.