Project 20

FrequenSea

Katharina Marino
An Urban Dream Brokerage Project
29 September – 8 October 2017
The Underground Market, 177 George Street
Property Partner: Oakwood Properties

Turning a cavernous underground vacant retail space into a representation of an underwater sonic and visual experience, Katharina Marino's installation FrequenSea aimed to make the invisible world of marine noise pollution visible. The exhibition was an interactive, community project.

Awareness that the world extends beyond what we experience (through our human senses) is often lost. From the moment we are born, our perception is constrained by our body’s limited ability to sense our surroundings – we lack specialised anatomy to see outside of the visible spectrum, pick up scent a mile away, or hear one another across entire ocean basins.

When prompted to imagine sounds of the ocean, thoughts of seagulls crying out, waves crashing against the shore and crabs clicking as they scuttle to safety under the next rock may come to mind. Yet, these sounds are still part of our familiar home on land. Actually dive beneath the water’s surface and everything begins to change. The water engulfs you and your senses struggle to perform optimally in this underwater environment.

Unlike us though, cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) use acoustics to navigate, forage and communicate in their underwater world. However, the world’s oceans are getting louder and louder, and cetaceans are suffering the consequences. Ocean-drilling, commercial shipping, construction and many other man-made activities are interfering with the ambient levels of marine noise these animals are used to. The increase in underwater noise pollution, not only cripples their ability to traverse the sea, but they may be suffering direct physical effects as well.

Kate Schrader