The Space Below is conceived as an immersive sound installation, designed to tour to subterranean locations across the globe, where the cause and impact of underwater acoustic pollution are most prevalent.
Currently in production, this new work is a collaboration between award-winning artists Emma Critchley and Lee Berwick. It is inspired by extensive research and a year-long residency with scientists and specialists in the field, including close collaboration with The British Antarctic Survey’s Ecosystems Programme and Wildlife Ecologist Dr. Iain Staniland. The work explores an urgent issue that has spread to affect all corners of the world, from the busy shipping lanes of the English Channel to the once silent waters of Arctic.
Every creature in the ocean can hear. The smallest larva listens to the reef to find where to settle, while the Blue Whale draws an acoustic map to navigate its way. Hearing is fundamental to communication, breeding, feeding and ultimately survival.
The Space Below transports audiences into a space where ears rule over eyes, and where the sound of humans at work and play takes on a darker tone. Created from an archive of underwater sound recordings, sourced from across the globe, the artists’ sonic palette features both the natural sounds made by a wide range of sea creatures as well as human-made sounds: sonar activity, seismic air gun surveys and Acoustic Deterrent Devices. These human-made noises are a product of the way in which we live today: of industrialisation, globalisation and climate change.
The first installation will take place in the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, London in Spring 2020.
Our project partners include: The British Antarctic Survey; The Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust; Culture & Climate Change Project; Californian Ocean Alliance; The University of Plymouth; and specialists from Cornell and Washington Universities, US.