Collection: Unit 4: Introduction to Platforms

Experience Design

My idea: one of the main points I got back from my feedback of my initial exhibition idea was that I needed a narrative; what do I want to audience to leave with? From this, I thought it would be interesting to research into the many ways humans and man - made noise are destroying the ocean, in particular interfering with the marine mammals’ communication and include this information in my exhibition.  The exhibition will have 5 different rooms and will be almost like a maze with each room containing a scene the replicates the different human habits that are destroying the ocean. The rooms will be industrial underwater explosions, ocean drillining, ship engines and oil rig constructions. I thought in each room could have a lifesize marine animal alongsize the things that are destroying their habitat, the room will be quite dark with more emphasis on the sounds to replicate the noise pollution in the ocean. 

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I spent a fair amount of time researching marine mammals to get a better understanding of different ways they perceive sound. Whales and Dolphins Sounds are usually perceived through the ears, but some loud or low frequency sounds can be sensed by contact with other parts of the body. Animals use sounds to communicaate, for music and also to acquire spatial information about their environment. Echolocation, the sending of sounds and interpretation of echoes produced, is used by whales and dolphins to navigate, for orientation and to hunt for food. Hearing is the universal alerting sense in all vertebrates. Sound is so important because animals are able to hear events all around them, no matter where their attention is focused. Many species of blind amphibians, reptiles, fishes and mammals are known, but no naturally profoundly deaf vertebrate species have been discovered. Although hearing is important to all animals, the special qualities of the undersea world emphasize the use of sound.Sound travels far greater distances than light under water. Light travels only a few hundred meters in the ocean before it is absorbed or scattered. Even where light is available, it is more difficult to see as far under water as in air, limiting vision in the marine environment It is similar to looking through fog on land. So, the best opportunity for long-range vision underwater -- especially in murky water -- is to swim beneath objects and see their silhouettes.The undersea world presents very different conditions for hearing as well as seeing. Sound travels much farther underwater than in air. The sounds produced by many marine mammals can project for miles. Strong echoes are always present underwater, because sound travels without much loss and there are many underwater surfaces that reflect sound. So, it can be tricky to communicate using sound underwater, because a listener may have to sort through many different sounds and confusing echoes to hear the message. Marine mammal sounds are probably structured so that they can be recognized in spite of all the echoes.

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After visiting the Natural History Museum, I have decided that I want to focus on marine mammals and other animals from this collection. In terms of colours, I have been experimenting with dark colours in order to replicate the lack of sunlight in the ocean. Also, marine mammals can't rely on their sight as the visibility is bad, so by designed a room in complete darkness may give the public a sense of what it would be like to only rely on sound. Although I want the installation to be in complete darkness and the skeleton bones perhaps covered in a glow-in-the-dark adhesive. It would be interesting to include some fabric as the public won't be able to see, maybe the bones could be covered in fabric?

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Each room will contain a scene that replicates the different man made noise that is preventing marine mammals from communicating, each room will have sound effects coordinating with the theme of that room: 

Room one: Industrial underwater Explosions, Room two: Ship Engines, Room three: Ocean Drilling, Room four: Submarine Sonar Devices, Room five: This room would simply have a large whale anatomy but made from lights, similar to the exhibition I looked at in my research called the 'Fluidic - sculpture'. 

Room one: Industrial underwater Explosions: Industrial Underwater Explosions can cause loud, low pitched noise which can travel immense distances through water, often reaching halfway around the world from the source. In this room, I want to create something that mimics explosions, the room will be in complete darkness, so it would be cool to have perhaps a smog machine or explosions projected using a projector. 

Room two: Ship Engines: This particular room is about the noise created through ship engines. I thought it would be exciting if i included a small model version of a ship and perhaps have fake smoke coming from an engine. Like all of the rooms, it will be in darkness and in terms of sound, typical sound noises. 

Room three: Ocean Drilling: This room is about ocean drilling and how the anthropogenic noise can destroy the vulnerable tissues, in the inner ear and the lateral line systems of fishes. The sounds playing throughout the room will be drilling noises replicating the sound coming from the ocean drills at the bottom of the ocean. Also there could be huge sculptures of theses drills with marine mammals hanging from the ceiling. 

Room four: Submarine Sonar Devices: The main focus of this room, is sonar devices and how the noises affects a whales vocalisation range and how they emit deep notes, well below the ping of sonar. 

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