Co•–st•–l W•–ve Tr•–nsl•–tor ()
Created with Kynan Tan
(Wave data collected from NOAA, microcomputer, custom-built speakers, solar panel, marine battery)
1000mm x 1700mm x 500m
Find the live sound here: coastalwavetranslator.net
Co•–st•–l W•–ve Tr•–nsl•–tor is a continuously updating sound composition that translates wave data into sound based on Morse code. By collecting data from weather buoys located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans this work offers a meditation on the unseen, intermediary space between borders: the space where countless traverse, the space that continues to rise.
Wave data was collected from buoys near Manus, Nauru and Christmas Islands—locations of Australia’s offshore detention centres—and Tuvalu, an island impacted by the rising tides caused by climate change. Drawing on historic forms of oceanic communication, the work creates a sensory proposition with distress signals.
When faced with issues of immense scale and complexity, this work takes an alternative approach to consider that which is distant, obscured and imperceptible: it focuses on the data regarding the movement of the ocean. By channeling this data into sound through waterfront developments, this installation acts as a distress beacon that questions how we are truly developing.
Co•–st•–l W•–ve Tr•–nsl•–tor was originally installed at Perth’s Elizabeth Quay on RAFT, an ephemeral art-space housed on a pontoon in the Swan River. It was also installed at East Fremantle’s foreshore. Most recently, Co•–st•–l W•–ve Tr•–nsl•–tor was exhibited at the Newcastle Museum as part of Critical Animals and This is Not Art.
Wave data is collected and continuously translated to sound from ocean buoys courtesy of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s open database. Special thanks to Trevor Ward for his help with database management. This project was possible due to the generosity of the Tan Family and their tools.