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Citation: Kerr, V. (2022). Airways [Video]. Wintec Research Archive.

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[thumbnail of Video with audio art installation] Video (Video with audio art installation)
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Multimedia installation

Airways (2022) is the result of my collaboration with musician Micah Livesay and mathematician Chris Batterton, responding to the ‘What if Climate Change was Purple’ arts project – initiated by climate scientist Prof. James Renwick, aimed at gathering scientists and artists together to share knowledge and research that inspire climate action.

As an artist and former air traffic controller, I have a long-standing interest in the profound impact of aviation on the natural environment and ways the atmosphere is permeated by technologies of communication, transportation and scientific research. With the coronavirus pandemic causing worldwide air travel disruption, there has been a unique opportunity to observe significant changes in the usual rhythm of flight, resulting in humans effectively becoming de-centered and reconfigured within a broader ecological/multispecies system.

To improve quality of life and create an environment in which humans recalibrate their relationship with nature, it is sometimes necessary to evaluate and predict the effects of human activity, using mathematical and statistical modelling. It was with this in mind that 'Airways' became an inquiry into how mathematical data might be used to create new atmospheric imaginaries that somehow flesh out this singular moment in human history.

Both the soundtrack and graphic components of the installation are created using real-world aircraft movement data collected over the past year from various airports in New Zealand, which were then converted into mathematical wave form frequencies. What we see and hear in the installation are sounds and images produced using mathematical ‘models’, through which patterns of flight and acoustic communication in the air are identified and embedded within a harmonic structure. The breathing process synonymous with the flow of information and communication is evoked, using the acoustic signatures of air traffic controllers’ voices and bird calls that combine with indigenous Māori Taonga Pūoro – traditional wind instruments, relying on the performers breath to imitate sounds of the natural world, including bird calls for the purpose of attracting and interacting with them.

Item Type: Media arts item
Uncontrolled Keywords: Exploring the Art Science interface, video, soundtrack, birds, aviation, Māori Taonga Pūoro; human activity, statistical modelling, mathematical modelling,
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Divisions: Schools > School of Media Arts
Depositing User: Vicki Kerr
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2024 22:43
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2024 22:43

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