Subaquatic Soundscapes

Still image, 04:55 min.

Research on the bioacoustics of octopuses is slim. Even more opaque than the usual puzzles about octopuses – where we have data and knowledge that however we find difficult to make sense of – it is neither clear whether octopuses can hear nor whether they emit sounds or not. Both possibilities are respresented in the scarce literature.

The soundscapes surrounding animals are shaped by extractivism, scientific experiments, and our consumption of them. Markets are noisy spaces, as are aquaria in university labs, but also the oceans. And the sounds of animal experiments do not get published along with their research papers. Subaquatic Soundscapes combines previously unheard soundfiles used in animal experiments with the artist’s own underwater recordings of aquariums at fish markets in South Korea and China, and videos documenting marine animal resistance.

The two-channel video installation is accompanied by a collage of research papers and spectrogrammes visualising violent auditory events printed on transparent paper, emphasizing the question of how to communicate knowledge created by the always non-consensual use of animals.


Video Preview

2:00 min. video preview of the two-channel version, Dreier, 2021.


Literature that informed the project, as well as the studies of which the audio recordings found their way into the work.