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Published on Apr 20, 2008
"Beneath and Beyond" Stephen Hurrel talks about his latest Art Installation.
Beneath and Beyond continues my enquiry into our relationship to the natural world whilst living in a technologically advanced, as well as ecologically critical, period of time. In exploring how computer software - developed for the Internet - can bring experiences of real world environmental 'events' into the gallery, I have created meeting points between nature, culture and technology. Further, I can examine the potential of the gallery as an interface to discuss social, cultural and ecological issues. My perception of both nature and technology has been shaped by the picturesque landscape of my childhood in the west coast of Scotland -- where the deep lochs became ideal sites to house nuclear submarines. These symbols of efficient, total destruction were in direct contrast to the ancient landscape; shaped by the slow forces of the ice age and massive tectonic shifts. Against this background grew an interest in the idea of 'the sublime' in nature -- a 'greatness' that nothing else can be compared to and that is beyond measurement or imitation -- and an interest in how artists have sought to represent it. In Beneath and Beyond, and other works that examine the increasing divergence between the natural world and technological 'progression', I explore how the 'tools' of the twenty-first century can be used to posit a more symbiotic relationship between nature and technology. Stephen Hurrel
This artwork brings together science and nature in a unique live-feed sound installation. Tectonic shifts and on-going movements beneath the Earth's surface are the source for generating this sound-work. A specially developed computer programme has been created to tap into, and continually monitor, one hundred Seismic Stations around the world via the Internet. These collected vibrations, in the form of raw data, are speeded up to make them audible to the human ear. These new sounds are then experienced in 'real-time' along with their corresponding visual representations -- seismic graph lines and waveforms - projected within the gallery space.