N. is an artistic visualization and sonification (direct translation of data to sound) of near real-time Arctic data. N. is an ongoing, evolving composition.
overall effect is mysterious; while giving an approximation of windswept
desolation, it is also as melancholy as a whale song...It is remarkable
that this work, almost entirely constructed from empirical scientific
data, manages to produce such a palpable and emotive sense of loss."
A dramatic warming trend has been experienced by the Arctic over the last decade that may accelerate global climate change. The N. installation expresses the isolation and environmental extremes of this remote region and addresses the importance of the region to the global ecosystem.
Data and images for N. have been provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Arctic research program. A portion of the raw sound material used in N. comes from live sferics (short for atmospherics), electromagnetic transmissions of lightning from the INSPIRE VLF (very low frequency) receiver at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. N. also makes use of a custom, open source object for Max/MSP called Datareader created by Andrea Polli and Kurt Ralske.
This project made possible (in part) by a 2005 Lovebytes Festival Commission, Sheffield, UK
approximately 5 minute quicktime video 100MB
The North Pole. 90 degrees North. A point where the spinning of the Earth slows to zero, where every direction points South and the sun rises and sets just once each year.
Andrea Polli is a digital media artist living in New York City. She works with city planners, environmental and atmospheric scientists and other experts to look at the impact of climate on the future of life both locally and globally. Her most recent work, Atmospherics/Weather Works focuses on understanding storms through sound.