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Nocturne is a series of wild altars meant to be experienced at dusk, dawn, or at night. The altars are experienced outdoors in chance encounters, as well as in museum and gallery exhibitions.

'Nocturne: Sea Altar' at San Luis Obispo Museum of Art for Atmospheres Deep.

Nocturne: Sea Altar honors the ocean through a multimedia installation incorporating audio, audio reactive visuals, and light sculptures. The work meditates on the criticality of sea diatoms for life in our oceans and asks us to engage in a practice of deep listening to ask: what are more-than-humans telling us?

"Atmospheres Deep is a multimedia group exhibition presented by SUPERCOLLIDER at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. This curation examines coastal regions above and below the water’s surface to uncover human impact on the ocean. Fifteen featured artists and scientists utilize film, soundscapes, biomaterials, artificial intelligence, modular painting, and collaborative weaving to communicate marine biodiversity loss, plastic pollution, and deep sea resource extraction. Atmospheres Deep is an urgent response to the oceanic climate crisis: these works draw parallels between the physical constraints of exploring deep seas in zero gravity and the psychological pressures resulting from increasing environmental degradation."

Nocturne is a network of mycorrhizal collaborations with more-than-human ecosystems that offer opportunities for generating new rituals. Rooted in intimate experiences with the elements, landscape, seascape, and more-than-human species, each site calls upon a specific and ephemeral moment of sensory collaboration: times when the sun, light, sound, and scent coalesce through the senses of the human body to produce sublime or ordinary but intimate moments. 


The work is an experiment in care-taking and a seduction into intimate moments with the more-than-human world. Nearby to home, the interventions slip into existing ecologies, beckoning humans to slow down and pay attention to special arrangements of elements and lives around them. The practice of generating new ceremonies and rituals with more-than-human species serves as a method of re-localization, de-emphasizing the human-human connection, and re-emphasizing the grounding impacts of human-more-than-human interactions. 


The network of altars operates as an economy of care--visitors to the interventions are responsible for upholding the integrity of the site, both in the more-than-human species that inhabit it, as well as care-taking of the art piece + altar. The altars each spark a distinct sensorial experience: the way the sunlight backlights a native plant species at sunset; the sound of the birdsong at sunrise; the scent of jasmine leaves opening as the day cools into night. 


Visit the 2021 Uroboros Festival to watch the Nocturne Altar Hack workshop!

Nocturne is supported by CreaTures research project. CreaTures project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870759. The content presented in this website represents the views of the authors, and the European Commission has no liability in respect of the content.

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Uroboros  2021: Designing in Troubling Times

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