Under the Surface is an audiovisual installation revolving around underwater recordings in de Waal, the big river crossing the city of Nijmegen. These recordings have been made by Frank Collas, researcher at the Radboud University Nijmegen. The installation makes the relation between the natural life in the river and the sound pollution from the shipping industry tangible by creating an immersive digital environment in the Hortus.
The visual language of the work has a foundation in FFT analysis and spectograms of the sounds recorded in the Waal, displaying the spectral characteristics of natural life in the river and the big influence the pollution of sound has on this life.
The sound world of the installation works with a quadraphonic 4.2 multichannel installation immersing the visitor in the beautiful rich underwater sound world, which normally stays hidden, under the surface. By working with transducers to let the visitors feel the impact of the deep bass tones the ships generate the impact on the life in the river becomes relatable: the creatures in the river don’t hear these sounds with ears but feel their whole body resonate as the water in the river transduces the sound of the ships.
Under the Surface was commissioned by Schemerlicht Festival 2021.