Melody of Air Pollution

Aerosonar

Greek /āero/ “air”

Latin /sono/ “to make a noise, sound”, “to speak/utter”, “to emit sound”

Aerosonar is a spatial audio installation which translates current publicly available data on air pollution to the sounds and collective integrative melody in real time, at the same time emphasizing a human impact on this matter. The musical composition of the installation allows the air pollution to be experienced largely through the sense of hearing, which is otherwise not the case. Human impact on the installation itself and alternating spatial conditions result in changes in the musical composition, making visitors aware of their impact. 

Musical composition is created through the sonification of Belgrade air pollution data, having each selected air pollution parameter correspond to a sound. Visitors’ impact is recorded based on their behavior in the space of the installation. Visitors experience the installation space through a mutual relationship of the air pollution parameters, as well as through their personal relation to the same parameters.

The method we use is air pollution data sonification and it represents their transformation into sound content in real time. The air pollution parameters that are measured in real time are PM 2.5, CO, O3, NO2 and temperature. For each of these parameters the sound object is assigned and how that sound changes depends on the value of the parameter. As the data is constantly changing, rising and falling, the composition is generated. Each of these sound objects is most often created by thinking about a simple, minimalist structure, the possibility of changing that sound object spectrally, temporally and dynamically, and how it could fit in with the other elements. Also, the sound object for each of these data, is frequency limited to one band (lower, middle or higher) and in that way the entire sound spectrum is covered. During the process of working on sound, we strive to obtain fluctuation, variability and dynamics, which is the case in the compositions of instrumental and electro-acoustic music.

We realized that air pollution often displayed visually and that it cannot be experienced in that way. In the same way one may look at the air visual app on their phone to see the quality of the air, one may turn on the radio to get this info but in a more personal and emotional way. Sound has the strength with which emotionally affects a person consciously or unconsciously, and it is therefore chosen as a means of expression. Listening is an act of attention and embodied experience. Everything we hear is an event inside of us, something physical, vibration felt on the skin, in the tissues and the cavities of the body. That is why we wanted listeners to experience air pollution through listening to the sound and thus make them aware how important this topic is and that it is ubiquitous.
Aerosonar was originated as a collaboration of artists and scientists and produced by Center for the Promotion of Science (Belgrade, Serbia) within the project European ARTificial Intelligence Lab.  

Aerosonar team consists of sound designers, an architect, a scientist and a software developer, all working together for one goal – finding another way to confront the issue of air pollution while understanding its complexity, and ultimately preserving Europe’s natural environment.

Ana Todosijević

Architect and researcher

Ana Todosijevic_Foto5

Architect and researcher focusing on the mutual connection and relationship between architecture, living systems and technology. Her research follows a biological approach and reconsiders the way we influence and build our environment.

Ana is one of the founders of Bio2Arh, an association that gathers scientists, artists and anyone who wants to explore the intersection of art and science through experiment, as well as to rethink the relationship between biological species and the environment.

Through digital media, art installations and bio design, she explores new interactions within our natural environment. Her work has been exhibited at multiple festivals and exhibitions, the most recent one being BeoAir exhibition in LA, US, organized by ArtSci Research Center at UCLA. Apart from that, her work has been shown in several Art+Science Lab exhibitions, organized by the Center for the promotion of science in Belgrade (Aerosonar, 2020, Building Together, 2018) as well as the European Researchers’ Night (Future Living, 2015) Museum Night and “Grad i smrt” (en. City and Death; Interpretation of symbols, 2011).

Marija Šumarac

Sound designer and composer 

Marija Sumarac

Marija Šumarac is sound designer, composer and trombonist from Serbia. She holds a BA Diploma in Recording and Sound Design from University of Arts Belgrade where she is completing her Master studies, researching sound spatialisation and Deep Listening. She explores the complexity, color, dynamics of tones and rhythms with a tendency to implement it into the audio-visual projects through dramaturgical and conceptual approach, combining music and electrical engineering.

She gained performing experience in ensembles such as the Youth Philharmonic, FMA Big Band, New Spark Jazz Orchestra and many others. Her orientation towards sound manipulation through working experience in film, radio (Electronic Studio of the Radio Belgrade 3), theatre, television and video games also expanded the sound of her music performances and compositions.

She has presented her work internationally at venues, festivals and events such as Prague Quadrennial 2019, Ars Electronica Linz, European Science Open Forum (ESOF) Trieste, Speculum Artium Trbovlje, gallery Studio106L.A. and UCLA ArtSci Center Los Angeles.

Ana Anastasov

Sound designer and composer 

Ana Anastasov 2

Composer, sound designer, audio engineer and eco-artist. Ana graduated with a BA from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, Department of Recording and Sound Design, where she is currently doing her MA studies. She is studying at the Academy of Music and Drama in
Gothenburg, MFA Experimental Composition and Creation.


Ana was engaged as a teaching assistant in the Radio Directing course. She was also a member
of the Youth Board of Kolarac Endowment, where she created scientific and artistic programs
for youth. She recorded music at Kolarac and volunteer at Radio Television of Serbia.
Her composition for piano and electronics „Exolvuntur“ announced the compilation „Piano Sky #
2″, published by Pop Depression.


Ana also works on feature and animated films. She has won awards at international and national
competitions and has had the opportunity to complete a course at the Souza Lima Conservatory
in Sao Paulo. She was the holder of a scholarship for extraordinarily talented students.

Bojan Kenig

Biologist and science communicator

Bojan Kenig2

Bojan Kenig is a biologist, currently working as a science communicator and educator at the Center for the Promotion of Science (CPN). At the Center he is working on forming a sustainable network that brings together scientists and artists, encouraging cooperation and development of joint projects through a+s+cpn selection program. He has been coordinating, producing and curating three art+science exhibitions so far.

Also, he is one of the founders of the Bio2Arch association, which uses joint artistic and scientific exploration of complex organism-environment interactions to tackle ecological and environmental issues and their impact on society.

Bojan’s field of research is evolutionary genetics, focused on investigating the relationships between the environmental, geographic, morphological, genetic, and life history variations in natural and laboratory populations.

Aleksandar Kilibarda

Software engineer

Kili3

Software engineer developing software for EEG systems used in research and clinical trials. He is also involved in the development of industrial PVC and aluminium profile bending machines controlled by 3D cameras. Enjoys collaborating with other creative people, exploring new technologies and new ways of expression. Organized over 20 LEGO exhibitions (as one of the organisers) and several Mindstorms robotic workshops for elementary and high school students.

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