ATRIA: This work, an immersive sound installation drew on theoretical ideas in developmental biology and the sociology of science and technology, and practical, laboratory investigations of the developmental physiology of microscopic embryos. Data from videos of developing animals and used by scientists to map physiological function during development using conventional (scientific) diagrams and statistical techniques were ‘re-mapped’ as sound projections into a three-dimensional building space. Data were first extracted from videos of three early stages in the development of the cardiovascular system of a marine snail when it had: (1) a beating larval heart only; (2) a beating larval and true heart; and (3) a beating true heart only. These data were converted to low-frequency sound and projected into three atria within the Portland Square building at the University of Plymouth. By re-mapping biological information from contained microscopic life into a large immersive environment, ATRIA transposed scientific knowledge about developmental biology into a public experience. This immersive sensory experience of the re-contextualised knowledge about the developmental stages of the marine snail’s hearts is an example of a ‘mutable mobile’, scientific objects of fact that retain some of their relational meaning whilst moving between different contexts.
Click here to view the video analysis of the heart(s) of the embryo used to generate sound.