Echology :: Mussel Choir

The Melbourne Mussel Choir enables members of the public to monitor and celebrate the tremendous environmental services these wonderful organisms provide.

Echology partner, Carbon Arts, is working with Jeremijenko to realise her artwork that represents what she likes to call ‘the Qualities of Water’ in the Docklands’ aquatic ecosystem.

One mussel can filter as much as 6-9 litres of water/ hour. By instrumenting mussels with hall effect sensors, which indicate the opening and closing of their shells, and by giving them each a voice, converting the data into sound, the artwork uses the behavior of the organisms themselves as a biologically meaningful measure of pollutant exposure in order to produce a public spectacle.

Storm water run-off, local weather, and seasons will have evident effects on the Choir’s performances. The songs will map parameters such as water depth to sound pitch, presence of pollutants to sound timbre, and the rate of the opening and closing of mussel shells to sound tempo, for example.

Planning work has begun and we expect to launch the work in early-2014.


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