“Syren” presented by Woo and Rizos


Session Title:

  • Artists and Scientists in Collaboration

Presentation Title:

  • Syren



  • Syren is a shipboard example of augmented audio reality, designed to operate with an array of surround sound speakers installed around the ship’s Helipad on the forward upper deck. Geo-spatial information is accessed as the ship navigates the electronic charts associated with each of the three ports of call.
    Syren experiments with concepts of designing large-scale virtual soundscapes. For each of the ports we have designed a specific ‘sonic seascape’ – sound files, located in a digital cartography, are apparently positioned on, or around, the various features of the port and its navigational and maritime structures. Special attention is paid to local maritime narratives, histories and specifically maritime ‘keynote’ elements of the soundscape / seascape.

    These sounds are interwoven with a unifying sonic narrative derived from both ancient epic voyages (as the title implies) as well as contemporary political and cultural life. As the ship manoeuvres through and around the port (on entry and departure) the software will call up elements of the soundscape and ‘place’ them in the appropriate direction and distance – simulating a real sound associated with the landscape/seascape. One of the principal effects of Syren will be to suggest a series of parallel audio realities that appear to overlay the visual seascape and open a possibility to acknowledge a historical and cultural axis pivoting on a geo-spatial point.

    Owing to the potentially vast scale of the geographic area covered by the Syren project the system is designed to operate in and around each of the three ports that the ISEA ship will visit with some additional points en-route.