We are Janne Nora Kummer, Tomas Montes Massa, Lena Maria Eickenbusch and myself: we found each other as a group within the ¨Spiel && Objekt¨ MA program, sharing the desire to develop an ecologic & non-anthropocentric view of arts. Our research motivation drives us to explore the interaction between the biodiversity of the rainforest with the behaviour of light, using these local biosolar entanglements as inspiration to create a techno-vegetal monster. Relevant milestones for us are monstrous & cyborg thinking, kinetic sculptures and object-oriented theatrical narratives. We imagine a solar-powered, Arduino-motored, light-searching hybrid creature, a wired-photosynthetic robot that aesthetically condenses our research and friendly coexists in the jungle. Speculating on the fusion of organic material and new technologies is for us an artistic urgency, and therefore we are eager to prototype and meet this critter!
Music is clearly one of the most important aspects of human cultural life. However, there is very little known about the biological origins of musicality (For a recent review: Kotz, Ravignani, Fitch, 2018). Even though youtube is a treasure trove of animals responding to music , few scientific studies have addressed this very interesting issue (for examples: Patel et al., 2009). Given this amazing opportunity to explore the Gamboa Jungle, a place with such animal diversity, I decided to study wild animals listening to music.
I plan setup he following pilot experiment: a speaker playing music in the jungle while cameras and microphones record possible animal behavior close to the speaker. Are animals curious about human music? Are some animals more curious than others? Do they synchronize movements to the rhythm, do they vocalize, sniff etc? Can we record them to produce more animalistic music that will engage them? (Looking for Collaborations).
Backup plans include : Concentrate on a single species, Agoutis?. Record animal vocalizations and do more controlled playback experiments.
I am joined in Gamboa by my artistic partner Trevor Silverstein, with whom I plan to shoot a fictional short film.
Bio: I’m a composer, musician, and interdisciplinary artist whose work focuses on film and collaborative live multimedia performances with dance and visual artists. My personal projects are inspired by science and a love of the natural world. I also have experience with field recording in the tropics, and I co-founded an experimental school that offered free art classes in exchange for environmental restoration work.
PROJECT: My collaborator Lisa Schonberg and I will compose new music and sound work based on observation and field recordings as part of a larger ongoing project. We will illustrate contrasting ecological variables through our recording and composition processes. We will use hydrophones, ultrasonic mic, contact mics, and shotgun mic, and build the compositions using found instruments, a Critter and Guitarri Organelle keyboard, and Ableton Live. If there is mutual interest, we can create this work as a sonic aspect of another researcher’s work at Dinacon. We also want to interview (and with permission film) participants at Dinacon about larger questions related to artists and scientists producing work together.
Project: Field sound recording along Pipeline Road in order to create a radiophonic journey into its birdsong and wildlife around the clock. Hard science will inevitably be mixed with soft fiction, so zoological correctness not guaranteed.
Writer and journalist, budding birder, interested in both science and fiction involving non-human perspectives, zoology, ecology, technology, evolving ecosystems and documenting the sixth mass extinction.
BIO: I am a percussionist, composer, writer, and field recordist with a background in ecology and entomology.
PROJECT: My collaborator Kristina Dutton and I will compose new music and sound work based on observation and field recordings. I am particularly interested in the sounds of ants and the Passalid beetles, and have been researching these sounds in the Brazilian Amazon. Kristina and I will illustrate contrasting ecological variables through our recording and composition processes. We will use hydrophones, ultrasonic mic, contact mics, and shotgun mic, and build the compositions using found instruments and Ableton Live. If there is mutual interest, we can create this work as a sonic aspect of another researcher’s work at Dinacon. We also want to interview participants at Dinacon about larger questions related to artists and scientists producing work together.
Project: Susan will be recording her travels to and around Gamboa, Panama as well as the local flora and fauna (on land, in the air, and along the river) with a 360-degree camera to deliver an immersive experience in virtual reality to aging and/or disabled people through technology and digital recordings.
Bio: I’m a graduate student in Design Research and Development with a specialization in Aging at the Ohio State University. I practiced commercial interior design for 13 years before returning to academia to pursue an MFA. I’d like to continue with a career that supports the aging population and dementia. It’d be a dream to create an experience that can benefit the cognitive and emotional health of older adults who can no longer travel.
Project: Sonification of Rainforest Sensor Data I plan to create a software system for transforming sensor data from DINALAB’s LARA network into audio. I hope to collaborate with other scientists, artists and researchers to create audio that is communicates information from the sensor’s via sound. I am also interested in using this system purely to generate music.
My backup plan is to use local materials to build some bio-degradable sound sculptures.
Bio: I’m a musician, programmer and educator interested in interactive audio, sonification, acoustic ecology and bio-acoustics.
Project: Drexel University Bio-Inspired Design – with teammates Raja Schaar and Ann Gerondelis. Together we’ll be working to expand our K12 and Higher-Ed Biologically Inspired Design and Citizen Science pedagogy by studying indigenous animals and plants. We’ll analyze their structural, behavioral, and functional features and adaptations to look for ways people might use them to solve problems in the conservation and sustainability space. I don’t work at Drexel (just excited to be on their team), but I am a service designer in Atlanta.
I am a design generalist for human and nonhuman great apes. I focus on design in complex, dynamic, and unfamiliar environments with emerging technology. With more than a decade working as a designer at Zoo (in exhibit, web and graphic design) and an education in design and digital media, I hope that my work supports improving the lives of humans & animals.
My favorite animals are orangutans and red pandas, but I am really excited to see sloths, coatis, and Panamanian golden frogs!