Artist’s Presentation, Marcus Maeder 8th Dec 2022 5.00pm

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Artist’s Presentation, Marcus Maeder 8th Dec 2022 5.00pm

08/12/2022 @ 05:00 pm - 08/12/2022 @ 06:30 pm

08 Dec 05:00 pm - 06:30 pm

We would like to invite you to attend a presentation by artist, researcher, composer & philosopher, Marcus Maeder, in WAS. He will be talking about his fascinating and vitally important  project, “Imeall an Chósta“, a scientific/artistic research project which he is conducting in Glenkeen Garden, Ballydehob. It is an eco-acoustic investigation of areas, communities and organisms under the influence of climate change and other environmental issues, primarily in Ballydehob Bay. (See below for more details of the project.)

   Swiss researcher and artist Marcus Maeder introduces his field of acoustic ecology and presents the project “Imeall an Chósta”, which he is conducting in Glenkeen Garden as a long-term observation at 5.00pm Thursday 8th Dec. 2022 in Working Artist Studios.
Imeall an chósta
   Recently, a disturbing study has been published in the journal Nature Climate Change by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research: The Gulf Stream has become increasingly unstable over the last hundred years, particularly its climatically for Europe important northward-flowing part, called the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), which is the heating powerhouse of the European continent as well as the British Isles and Ireland.
Thanks to the AMOC, European latitudes are much warmer than they would normally be at this northern location on the planet – a diversity of plants and animals thrive that is found much further south in other parts of the world. Biodiversity is thus higher in northern Europe than it would be without the Gulf Stream; Europe would resemble the boreal steppes of Canada or Siberia without it.
Climate researchers around Niklas Boers are concerned that Ireland, for example, will have to deal with future temperatures that correspond to the conditions of Toronto in Canada – i.e. long and very cold winters and not mild ones as in the past. The melting of the ice masses at the North Pole changes the salinity of the sea water, which leads to a weakening and ultimately the collapse of the Gulf Stream. The consequences for northern Europe would be catastrophic: in addition to intense winter storms and colder, harsher conditions in general, drier summer months would also have to be expected.
   Imeall an chósta (English: The coastline) aims to scientifically and artistically investigate and observe the climatic changes on the coast of West Cork. The project’s focus is on the influence of changing climate on the fauna in the water and on land, especially with regard to biodiversity. Local communities are strongly influenced by microclimatic conditions and exposures – accordingly, these relationships will be studied in a shore ecology context. Biodiversity on land and in water is surveyed and observed using acoustic methods: Automatic audio recorders are placed in the transition area from water to land, recording at intervals the local soundscape over the air, underwater and soil. These recordings are later analyzed for their acoustic diversity – the measure used (Acoustic Complexity Index) provides clues for assessing the temporal and spatial dynamics of local biodiversity.
At the four sites underwater/waterline/uphill/inland, the recorders simultaneously measure the microclimate: Temperature and humidity, as well as water temperature and salinity. During the maintenance in the field, the landscape, fauna and flora will also be observed photographically.
The scientific, eco-acoustic observation is combined with artistic research in Littoral: How do the manifestations of climatic changes on the coast of Ireland appear, respectively how can microclimatic and biodiversity-related aspects be artistically/aesthetically explored and reflected? The aim of the project is to develop a sound installation as well as a concert version of it, which artistically disposes the spatial and temporal dynamics in the soundscape and microclimate and makes the effects of climatic changes tangible.

   Marcus Maeder is an artist, researcher and composer of electronic music. He studied Fine Arts at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences, Philosophy at the Fernuniversität in Hagen and currently pursues his PhD in Environmental Systems Science at ETH Zürich. Maeder has worked as an editor and producer for the Swiss radio station SRF and has been working as a researcher at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST) of the Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK since 2005. He currently is visiting scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Landscape and Snow Research WSL and Fellow at the Institute for Biology at Freie Universität Berlin.

In his research, Maeder is working on eco-acoustic investigations of areas, communities and organisms under the influence of climate change and other environmental issues. He contextualises his artistic and scientific work in the fields of Acoustic and Soundscape Ecology, as well as Artistic Research.

On the invitation of French President François Hollande, Maeder presented his sound art installation trees: Pinus sylvestris at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21.

In 2017 Maeder presented his installation AmazonFACE: Ocotea at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington – the same year where he and Roman Zweifel received an honorable mention from the STARTS Prize by the European Commission at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz/Austria for their works under the moniker treelab.

In 2021, Marcus Maeder presented his Installation Silva (commissioned by the Goethe Institute Tallinn and in cooperation with Roman Zweifel) at the Estonian National Museum; Estonia’s President Alar Karis visited the exhibition.


Scientific source: Boers, N. (2021). Observation-based early-warning signals for a collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Nature Climate Change, 11(8), 680-688.

The Imeall an chósta project is being realised as part of the Crespo Foundation’s Glenkeen Garden Residency.