Art Installation: "An Agitated Earth" receives DCI Premier Arts Grant 2019


"An Agitated Earth" is an immersive sound sonification art installation created by composer Jane Saunders that will use audio to perceptualize earthquake activity data that has resulted from Hydraulic fracturing (Fracking). The concept is for individual attendees to be able to sit inside a model of our planet Earth and perceive the adverse impacts by the pressurized liquid that is used to fracture rock for purposes of obtaining natural gas. Auditory simulations of earthquake tremors triggered by shale gas drilling will be the focus of the piece, with the participant sitting in the Earth’s “womb” to contemplate the auditory simulations.  The intent of “An Agitated Earth” is to allow the individual a mindful experience; to internalize the potential environmental impacts for triggering earthquakes, contamination of drinking water sources and other health hazards that could arise when the immediate economic and national security concerns for obtaining natural gas come at the immeasurable expense of the sustainability and longevity of Planet Earth. The installation is meant to be fully functioning: the auditory fracking sonification will be a through-composed piece of auditory gestures played on a continuous loop through speakers mounted within the Earth space, allowing attendees to move freely in and out of the installation.  The Earth installation itself has been envisaged to be a steel orb structure of light where the cables are intended to remain invisible leaving the attendee to be immersed in a minimalist construction of light outlining the Earth’s form in an otherwise darkened space. This is to release limits and restrictions of movement, allowing one to be filled with luminescence will create a paradox of space and the metaphysical allowing the attendee to concentrate on the sonification data presented to them. Jane Saunders is a Staten Island based composer, arranger, performer and educator.