Posted on April 29, 2011
Remediation #4 of Marbh Chrios (Dead Zone)
In 2008, Virginia Institute of Marine Science Professor Robert Diaz showed that the number of “dead zones”—areas of seafloor with too little oxygen for most marine life—had increased by a third between 1995 and 2007. Diaz and collaborator Rutger Rosenberg of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that dead zones are now “the key stressor on marine ecosystems” and “rank with over-fishing, habitat loss, and harmful algal blooms as global environmental problems.” The study, which appeared in the August 15, 2008 issue of the journal Science, tallied 405 dead zones in coastal waters worldwide, affecting an area of 246,000 km2.
It is currently estimated that there are 20 such dead zones in Ireland and two contested dead zones were identified in the study at both Killybeg’s Harbour (1999) and Donegal Bay (2000).
With a number of unique and purpose designed statistical algorithms and heuristics, Softday (Sean Taylor and Mikael Fernström) translated some of the related scientific environmental data into abstract live sonifications and vocalisations. Softday worked collaboratively with three partners: local traditional musicians from An Charraig/Amhainn a’Ghlinne (Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí) in Donegal, Met Éireann (the Irish Meteorological Service) and The Marine Institute of Ireland, to explore the relationship of climate and culture to sound.
Softday is a collaboration between Sean Taylor and Mikael Fernström that started in 1999, exploring ideas in multimedia art. www.softday.ie/