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Songs From The Ocean

The immersive experience CURRENT created by She's Excited!, /p and Anke Schiemann is a journey through our oceanic currents and their impact on our climate. The multi-sensory showcase is interdisciplinary, combining Augmented Reality (AR) technology with sound art, 3D visuals and storytelling.

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Current

CURRENT is an innovative Augmented Reality project that merges the worlds of sound art, environmental and human interconnectedness, and audience engagement. This immersive experience explores the impact of oceanic currents on our planet's climate in a playful way.

Through a unique combination of interactive technology, storytelling and the shared creativity of the audience, CURRENT aims to captivate and spark conversations while fostering a deeper connection between interdisciplinary art, nature, and human emotion.

User Experience

The audience downloads the Augmented Reality App to their smartphones (Android & iOS) to immediately dive into the experience: When touching a visual 3D object in AR, the object starts to move and an audio sample is triggered. By touching multiple objects (either done by one audience member or by multiple people at the same time), the visitor(s) create layers of sounds while being surrounded by creatures and plants of the sea. The audience is engaged in different ways: haptically, visually, sonically, intellectually and emotionally.

The Threat of Climate Change

The audience dives into the ocean and follows the oceanic currents into the deep sea. They are surrounded by creatures and plants of the ocean in 3D: Seagulls fly over their heads. Sharks swim by. Kelp whirls. Urchins sit at their feet. But the threat of climate change and pollution is real. The 3D surroundings change: Plastic islands swirl, a siren howls, it starts to snow because of dropping temperatures, oil drops are polluting the water. The sounds evoke a catastrophe.

Three different stages create emotional tension and project a possible dramatic future, showing how climate change impacts the forces of nature and threatens huge parts of our planet.

Stages

CURRENTS
Currents play a pivotal role in shaping marine ecosystems and sustaining the delicate balance of life in the ocean. Beyond their influence on climate, currents act as vital conduits for the distribution of warmth, nutrients, and marine organisms, facilitating the flourishing of coastal ecosystems. Phytoplankton and zooplankton, the foundation of oceanic food chains, rely on currents for dispersal and nutrient transport, while kelp forests serve as critical habitats and food sources for a myriad of marine species. From young herring utilizing currents to navigate to their feeding grounds, to larval eels hitching rides to coastal and freshwater habitats, marine life depends on these dynamic flows for survival. Seagulls adeptly follow currents to access marine food sources. Even apex predators like sharks employ the strategic use of currents to conserve energy and maintain oxygen flow over their gills enabling them to rest. 

STATUS QUO
The oceans face profound challenges in the wake of increased global warming and pollution caused by oil spills and plastic waste, posing threats to marine ecosystems and the well-being of countless species.

The heating of the ocean contribute to the proliferation of purple sea urchins, resulting in the decimation of kelp forests and the subsequent loss of habitat for countless marine organisms. The warm water loving lionfish have become the poster child for invasive species issues in the Western North Atlantic region. Their populations continue to expand, threatening the well-being of coral reefs and other marine ecosystems. The blue crab, originally from the coast of North and South America is spreading further North and conquering the Mediterranean as a result warming waters.

OUTLOOK

In the coming decades, the future of the ocean is fraught with complex and multifaceted challenges. The relentless melting of big ice fields on the polar caps not only dilutes ocean water but also contributes significantly to the rise in sea levels, posing imminent threats to coastal communities worldwide. In response to the escalating risk of flooding, survival boxes emerge as potential solutions, offering refuge and shelter to those affected. However, the proliferation of plastic in the ocean presents a daunting dilemma, as it fuels the growth of plastic-eating bacteria while simultaneously polluting marine ecosystems. Remarkably, amidst the sea of plastic, islands of debris may inadvertently provide new habitats for floating plants, demonstrating the paradoxical nature of human impact on marine environments. Furthermore, scientists warn of impending collapses in major ocean currents like AMOC due to warming waters, potentially triggering abrupt temperature drops across the Northern Hemisphere, exacerbating climatic instability and intensifying snowfall patterns. As humanity grapples with the complex interplay of environmental degradation and ecological adaptation, the future of the ocean hangs precariously in the balance.

The Artists

The immersive AR experience CURRENT was created by the artists
She's Excited!, /p and Anke Schiemann.

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