Fonoteca Nacional and Biosphere Soundscapes are calling for participants for the inaugural residency in Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve in 2015.
As part of the Mexican Soundscape project, Fonoteca Nacional is working in collaboration with Biosphere Soundscapes to produce an artistic residence and interdisciplinary laboratory focusing on the creative and scientific possibilities of listening. Biosphere Soundscapes is designed to inspire communities across the world to listen to the environment and explore the value of sound as a measure for environmental health and ecological engagement in UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. The inaugural residency in Mexico will be centered on sonic exploration of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
This residency is part of an educational program designed by Biosphere Soundscapes with a focus on collaboration, experimentation and exploration. This interdisciplinary learning laboratory will involve participants exploring the environment through sound, learning about the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve and collaborating with a dynamic team at the intersection of art, science and technology.
This open call is aimed at artists, scientists, researchers and other professionals working with sound. Applicants should have an interest in acoustic ecology, bioacoustics, field recording or other fields working with environmental sound.
The residency will take place over 10 days and will involve daily field recording sessions accompanied by interdisciplinary workshops and presentations. Participants will learn about the biodiversity of each recording location through presentations with local scientists and conservationists. At the end of the residency participants will have the opportunity to share their creative or scientific discoveries during a showcase.
The residency will be guided by the Biosphere Soundscapes team along with guest artists, specialists from Fonoteca Nacional and scientists from the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
As a result of this open call, six participants will be selected, three of which will be Mexican nationals and three internationals. The residency will cover the costs of accommodation, food and local transport for the duration of the residence for three selected participants through a full scholarship and a subsided scholarship for the three remaining participants. The costs of international travel to Quintana Roo are to be covered by the participants.
Read the full call for participation here
River Listening is an interdisciplinary collaboration designed to explore the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics and the potential for new approaches in the conservation of global river systems. The project is led by the Biosphere Soundscapes founding director Australian interdisciplinary artist Dr. Leah Barclay. It was developed in collaboration with The Australian Rivers Institute across four Queensland river systems, two of which flow through the Noosa Biosphere Reserve and the Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve. Dr. Leah Barclay was awarded a prestigious Synapse grant in 2014 to support the development of River Listening across the the Brisbane River, the Mary River, the Noosa River and the Logan River.
Synapse is an initiative of the Australia Council for the Arts and the Australia Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) that supports collaborations between artists and scientists in Australia. River Listening involves immersive community engagement through interactive listening labs, field recording, sound maps, performances and installations to experiment with digital technologies and creativity in understanding river health and aquatic biodiversity. The project recognises the critical value of river systems and offers a fresh alternative in inspiring local and global communities to engage in river conservation through accessible digital technologies, creativity, music and sound.
In our current state of environmental crisis, biodiversity assessment is critical to understanding the rapid ecological changes taking place across the globe. In the last ten years, there has been a strong emergence of non-invasive monitoring involving auditory recordings of the environment. This emerging field is commonly referred to as soundscape ecology and shares many parallels with other fields, including bioacoustics and acoustic ecology. These fields have an array of creative possibilities that have been deeply explored by practitioners including Bernie Krause, Ros Bandt and Garth Paine. There are now a growing number of international projects embracing auditory monitoring in aquatic environments.
River Listening launched on the iconic River Thames in London during the 25th Anniversary of the EVA London International Conference in June 2014. It was developed as a pilot across four Queensland river systems: the Brisbane River, the Mary River, the Noosa River and the Logan River through intensive community engagement resulting in a wide spectrum of partnerships with community organisations. The initial phase of the project has involved listening labs, field recording, sound maps, performances and installations to experiment with hydrophonic recording, virtual technologies and community engagement in understanding river health. In the first six months the River Listening team have expanded the project internationally with partnerships formed across Australia, New Zealand, India, Cambodia, USA and Mexico. Particular highlights include launching a new masterclass series with UNESCO, premiering the River Listening sound installation at the ASU Art Museum in the USA and launching the first version of a new interactive sound installation at the Mary River Festival in Queensland.
2015 will see the launch of a customised River Listening digital platform and mobile applications for recording and listening to rivers across the world. The mobile application will facilitate creative collaborations and enable community members to become river custodians by monitoring river sounds and sharing their recordings with artists and scientists. The project team are also launching a touring exhibition and masterclass series that will explore rivers as the lifeblood of communities and draw on ten years of collaborations with river systems across the world.
As the international interest in the emerging auditory fields of bioacoustics and acoustic ecology continues to expand, there are clear opportunities to harness virtual technologies to develop accessible community engagement around the creative and scientific possibilities of listening to the environment. River Listening provides a model to develop a truly interdisciplinary approach with a strong focus on immersive community engagement. It is anticipated the future results will be beneficial to national ecosystem monitoring programs for river health. This project is a catalyst for interdisciplinary thinking at a time when the conservation and management of aquatic ecosystems is a critical priority. River Listening fundamentally explores the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics and the potential for new approaches in the management and conservation of global river systems. River Listening is underpinned by inspiring environmental stewardship, revaluing urban river systems and connecting communities through music and sound.