Imaging compositions
from the webcam

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Listen to under water
sounds collected over time
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Ohr am Wattenmeer


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“Ohr am Wattenmeer,” (Ear to the Wadden Sea) is located off the coast of North Germany, and runs 24/7, beginning May 7, 2009, and ending in September 2011. Netcasts and time-lapsed compositions may be accessed.

“Ohr am Wattenmeer, ” a duration piece, employs the interdisciplinary practice of acoustic ecology, which examines the effect of sound on all living beings and the state of the global soundscape. This site-specific artwork consists of an underwater microphone attached just below the surface of the water at the base of a platform shared with a number of scientists from the Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg.

The goal of “Ohr am Wattenmeer” is to refocus participant attention by immersing their virtual ears in this particular body of water to hear its ecological process, while meditating visually on the webcam image of the surface platform on the water. The project seeks to discover new sounds that might be hidden from the ear, or that are too distant, or made by extreme weather conditions. Listening to sounds out of human range with various forms of technology opens up inaudible worlds and a deeper understanding of sonic environments.

Early audio tests can be heard further below at the end of this page >|<

the East-Frisian Wadden Sea in the tidal inlet of Spiekeroog island. More information from WATT time-series station. Almost real time data from the station.

> map < detail of the area

Other resources:
WFAE World Forum for Acoustic Ecology

SLAP: Social Land Art Project


Other artists in the exhibition:
Christina Hung and John Sturgeon, atlowtide.net

people/ agencies
Thanks to Jonathan Merkle*, Brendan Howell for their consultation and programing knowledge on the server end of the project, his time funded by the Undergraduate Research Assistanct Support (URAS) Program, UMBC. Imaging Research Center, UMBC, Megan Willey, Dan Bailey, Lee Boot and Brian Burge from RESON, INC., and many others.

The project would have been impossible without the the curator, Edda Akkermann and collaborators; Dr Reuter, Rainer, Dr. Sibet Riexinger, and Dr. Thomas Badewien and Axel Braun installing the hydrophone and the other technics from Marine Physics Department, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg.

Thanks to Edda Akkermann, who without her insight and guidance in the early stages of the project might not have been realized for many more years.



audio samples / early in the project

The source of the chirping signal is the pinging from an ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profililer). It has a frequency of 1200 kHz, but the burst measurements are audible. The level of this sound depends on the depth and the place of the hydrophone. Mostly there is an background sound with varying frequency. The source is the wind turbine which supplies the station with energy.


The boat "Navicula" arrives the station. The recording starts with the boat about 200m away, than it arrives and circles around the station and than it is moored, the engine stops and the folks climbs up the ladder.


The hydrophone is under water, no activities but sometimes a sound from works on the station.


We do some jumps on the floor of the station.


Someone is going downstairs within the pile. He is knocking on the pile wall with a tool.



TC4013 hydrophone supplied by
RESON, INC.