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What? In May 2024, Broods XIII and XIX (two broods of American periodical cicadas) will hatch simultaneously, a convergent phenomenon that occurs only once every 221 years. Touring the epicenter of the emergence (the state of Illinois), Emergent Listening – Plains’ Hiss will focus on respectful listening and observation of the bio-behavioral, ecological, and bioacoustics dimensions of this rare event.  This communal project will explore other aspects of this phenomenon through the historical and cultural lens of Illinois, where the dual event will take place. (the above image is from June 2021, Hilton Patapsco State Park, Maryland) LISTENING / OBSERVERING – paying attention is the overall objectiveQUIET respectful creative responses ART/MUSIC/SOUND & SCIENCE perspective(s) CONTACT for more info: Stephen Bradley -> sbradley (at) umbc (dot) edu The core artist collective will organize a listening session to be announced as we get closer to the event.  Currently, the collective is made […]

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Tracing Bio-Buggy: Ear to the Harbor: (B-BEH) Baltimore City, Inner Harbor. Artist in residency – August – December 2021. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Eric Schott, IMET, area of research, Health and disease of aquatic organisms and, Charmaine Dahlenburg, National Aquarium. This past week I began to experiment with spectrographic imaging based on underwater recordings from the Inner Harbor using the software RAVEN. A baby step towards understanding what I hear vs. what is actually being recorded. The sound that is heard is the sound of urban runoff into the small canal-like area from the pier. Just off in the distance in the recording is the sound of traffic traveling over the Jones Falls overpass, East Pratt Street near Presidents Street. Vibrations from the automobiles on the pavement are traveling through the concrete into the body of the water transmitted out into the Harbor. On the other side […]

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Inner Harbor Moans

Inner Harbor Moans. Underwater sounds of the Baltimore Inner Harbor at Piers III, IV, and V over the warmer months, August between 2021- 2022. The album was supported by the CIRCA IMET Artist in Residency program sponsored by UMBC and the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET), 2021-2022.

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underwater Inner Harbor

July 13, 2022, 10:00 AM – 12:15 PM. Biodiversity Study, sampling BioBuggy project at the National Aquarium “floating wetlands,” location off of Pier III. Baltimore Inner Harbor. 3m below the surface of the water. Location of Pier III biodisk. “hydro-chime” biofilm sampling experiment, Dr. Eric Schott, IMET, “floating wetlands” experiment, Charmaine Dahlenburg, National Aquarium, and Stephen Bradley, underwater video, and sound. Baltimore Inner Harbor, Maryland The videos are shot at the same location approximately a month apart. There is a stricking difference between the two video works. The first date, July 13, air temperature was around 84 degress, humdity 63% slightly overcast. There are many more critters present, less debris. The second date, August 9, air temperature was 91 degress, humidity, 94. There was much more debris in the harbor, fewer critters and less visibility. Soon after the footage was taken, there was what scientists call a turnover event. Basically, […]

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BB & biodiversity

NOTE: above photo is Langston Gash (with the National Aquarium) using the BioBuggy disecting microscope to collect samples and video document critters growing on the biodisk. The next step will be to take the samples and conduct DNA processing to scientifically identify the critters. Baltimore Harbor’s Biodiversity – IMET

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– mobilizing community art & science. BioBuggy, a mobile art and science laboratory on wheels, was designed and envisioned by media artist, Stephen Bradley, and scientist, Dr. Eric Schott. Other key contributors to the development and use of the BioBuggy include Charmaine Dahlenburg, Director of Field Conservation, National Aquarium, and many Brooklyn, Curtis Bay, and Middle Branch (southeast Baltimore City) community members The big-picture goal of BioBuggy is to increase the connection that urban residents feel for the living resources in nearby estuaries that they both enjoy and affect. We seek to accomplish this connection by inviting them to observe and listen to the small, sessile organisms in the estuary (harbor) with the aid of a mobile microscope, video screen, and hydrophone (underwater) listening device.  Once drawn to the cart, a passer-by is invited by estuarine science and art students who will staff the device to follow their curiosity about […]

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Community Art/Science, Ecology

“In 2011, I photographed the last house standing in Fairfield and returned a week later to document the interior of the house, but the house had been demolished with all of Jimmy and Debbie’s belongings still inside…” INDEX: 1. Garrett Park sidewalk murals linked to IMET Biodiversity Study. 2. Brooklyn Enoch Pratt Free Library murals. 3. Biodiversity Study – art, science, and “biodisk” documentation4. “biodisk” art and science installation5. Benjamin Franklin High School, Rain Garden Mural6. Contemporary Archeology (solid waste and popular culture)7. Curtis Bay Alleyway Mural Project. Trash removal & beautification. OTHER PROJECTS8. Maree Farring Elementary Middle School – color palet project. The image above, “Last House Standing: Fairfield” is from Mapping Baybrook, a collaboration with Dr. Nicole King, American Studies, UMBC. I photographed the last house standing in Fairfield in 2011 then a week later I returned to document the interior of the house, but the house had […]

Continue Reading Tenebrionidae beetles

Tenebrionidae beetles

As part of the CIRCA/IMET AiR project, I connected with Dr. Allen Place, who raises special Tenebrionidae beetles that he is breeding to grow mealworms that will eventually be processed into food for salmon that is being held in the ARC in the basement of IMET. The food is special in that it has high protein and supports the salmon’s biomes. Dr. Place gave me about 20 of the beetles, 1/3 females and 2/3 males for me to “listen” to them and to learn more about potential breeding. The following soundtracks are from a recording set up in a cool dark and quiet place located in my basement. As far as I can tell they do not vocalize, though, in several instances, I think I can hear some small squeaking sounds, but am not sure. For the first 3 tracks, I am using a stereo pair RODE M5 mics and […]

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BF Hornet Performance

This past Saturday, August 14 I made this recording of a swarm of bald-faced hornets who have been building a nest in our front yard magnolia tree.  I ended up recording them for over 3 hours as I could not retrieve my equipment – to finally extract my equipment I had to dress up for winter wearing a coat designed for 20 degrees below “0”, 2 mosquito screen hats, and work gloves that only resulted in one sting through the top of my left-hand glove– I felt pretty foolish until I heard the recording.   The excerpt here is right after placing the microphone at the mouth of the nest – there is a slight lull in their sound until they discovered the mic and then began to swarm.  The whole recording is 3+ hours. An observation of the recording that I noted while looking at the full 3-hour waveform is that the […]

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BROOD X: ’04 ’21

The above image was taken, May 16, 2021, underneath a magnolia tree, BROOD X 17-year (Great Eastern Brood) cicada in the final stage of molting prior to hardening of the new exoskeleton. My immersive experience these past six weeks with the BROOD X, 17-cicada 2021 phenomena resonate deeply with my molecules, imprinting them sonically.   For two of the six weeks of the above ground cicada presence, my wife and I rented a cabin not far from where we live to fully experience the BROOD with minimal human noise, and wooded park traffic.   The experience constructs a metaphor for COVID reemergence from 17+ months of quarantine and isolation.  The only signs of the BROOD X are located high among the tops of trees – copper-colored leaves attached to evenly spaced out “tree flags” hang down waiting for the vast drop to earth.   Another 17-years life cycle has begun; a bio-rain of […]