A Cathedral of Aquatic Sonification

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A Cathedral of Aquatic Sonification

June 11, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 12:00 pm on Thursday, repeating until July 1, 2022

An event every week that begins at 3:00 pm on Friday, repeating until July 1, 2022

An event every week that begins at 12:00 pm on Saturday, repeating until July 1, 2022

Promotional Poster

Cathedral to Aquatic Sonification is a dynamic, realtime, data-driven, immersive audio installation throughout the PS1 north gallery building bringing focus, reflection, pause, and intention to the process of engaging with nature.

The distributed collection of data performance machines functions at the intersection of art and science by presenting a sonification* experience driven by realtime water quality and weather data from Iowa’s Great Lakes Region.

Lakes are active, dynamic systems that researchers continue to learn about through, among other things, networks of high-frequency water quality data monitoring instruments. Sensor-laden research buoys in West Okoboji Lake and Big Spirit Lake in the northwest corner of Iowa continuously collect and report water quality and weather data. The data tells a daily, seasonal, and annual story about lake status and activity, and this installation uses that data to develop a different way of experiencing Iowa’s great lakes from afar. The interconnected water network in Iowa is used for industry and recreation and is also an important part of the state’s ecosystem. Our society has advanced in many ways, but lately, we have not generally done well in remaining connected to nature. This installation asks what happens if we explore different methods of building relationships with nature, even when physically distant. Can listening play an active role in this?

This installation’s data comes from research buoys managed by Iowa Lakeside Lab and researchers from the University of Iowa. Through this work, the state actively participates and contributes to a larger global dialog working to better understand lake ecology and freshwater systems. This installation extends that work into the experiential to form new relationships with these important and valuable aquatic resources.

Much like experiences in nature, this realtime data-driven installation is different each day, each hour, and each minute encountered over the exhibition’s run. By sonifying the data captured from above and below the surface of these lakes in the northwest corner of the state, the installation becomes a dynamic, experiential exchange with nature and research data, telling a story about the dynamic character of two of the largest lakes in the state of Iowa.

*sonification is the [traditionally non-verbal] audio representation & translation of data


Alex Braidwood is a sound artist, graphic designer, art advocate, creative technologist, and design educator based in Ames, IA. https://alexbraidwood.com/


June 11, 2022
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Public Space One
229 N Gilbert St
Iowa City, IA 52240 United States
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