In the early 1900s the Panama Canal was forged through the jungles of Panama. This shipping channel became a major factor in the expansion of globalised trade. In many ways, Panama’s Canal Zone represents the epitome of the Anthropocene. Industrial progress rupturing unique ecosystems.
In this setting I was inspired by broken nature. I collected introduced butterfly species, leaves that had been stripped to their skeleton by destructive fungus, dead insects and plant matter. I prepared these samples and photographed their finer qualities under microscope. I also collected a selection of field recordings using a hydrophone, two contact mics and a stereo atmospheric mic. Most audio recordings in Panama’s Canal Zone contain the sounds of engines. Sounds from passing ships, tug boats, dredging machines, cargo trains and light aircraft form the backdrop to birdsongs, monkey calls and frog choirs. The clash of nature and industry is palpable. Finally, I collected data relating to the temperature, light, movement and moisture of different ecosystems. This was done using an Arduino and a series of environmental sensors.
I presented the photo-microscopy images, audio and environmental data in an Open Studio showing at the Digital Naturalism Lab on 17 August 2019. The outcome of this residency was later captured in a 3-minute single channel video work. This video features photo-microscopy and audio recordings from three consecutive environmental art residences that I undertook in 2019 – Digital Naturalism (Gamboa, Panama), LabVERDE (Amazon, Brazil) and the EV Residency (Rio, Brazil).
PluginHUMAN is an Australian art-technology duo featuring Dr Betty Sargeant and Justin Dwyer. They have exhibited in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. PluginHUMAN has an acute understanding of the role that technology plays in contemporary society. Their progressive work places people in the centre of a human to digital encounter. They won a Good Design Award  and a Premier’s Design Award  and are creators-in-residence at the Exertion Games Lab, RMIT University, Australia.
Relax and listen to Gregory Hanks Green play the Khaen a traditional Lao/Thai mouth organ made of bamboo pipes, as colors reveal the garden forms of the Thai forest. Curate the sound of the Khaen and the colors of the nocturnal garden by touching the tropical plants. Discover each note or song and color the touch triggers. Gregory Hanks Green, the curator of the Echols Collection of Southeast Asian music at the Cornell music library is also a Khaen player. Green can be heard in the Nocturnal Garden playing a song on the Khaen in the Lai Nyai mode or create your own Khaen song as you touch the leafy plants. Khaen is tradition Thai and Laotian free reed instrument that sounds when the player breathes in or out. A touch of the plants provokes a note on the khaen or a complete song played by Green as well as an array of twilight colors.
Collaborators: Artist Joan Marie Kelly and Senior Lecturer at Nanyang Technological University, curated the concept, and design of the touch sensor installation specifically for the natural environment of Koh Lon Thailand and the Digital naturalism conference 2018. Senior Technical Manager, animation at NTU in Singapore Nagaraju Thummanapalli coded the music and colored LED light to sensors, Musician Gregory Hanks Green contributed the digital files of himself playing the Khaen, flutist Beth Kelly was music consultant, and Tourism Ethnographer Yuthasak Chatkaewnapanon gave cultural council of the context of the artwork. Below are 2 short videos of the Nocturnal Garden.
Success with water-adapted augmented reality (AR). Aquatic AR goggles, immersive AR environments … ImmerSea: Subversive Submersibles built and tested in installation experimentations creative real time overlays for experience alteration. Now tabulating off locus reactions.