“Space and time are interconnected; stars, planets, human and other lifeforms all create ripples in the cosmic pond. We propose to research, record, create visualisations of and instigate dialogue around, these invisible interacting forces.”
The above text, part of our residency proposal, is at the heart of our concept for BEYOND at Allenheads Contemporary Arts. Over the past week we have been busy bringing this concept into being.
An essential part of this work has been the making of our hydrophone rig, Terraqueous II. We have been busy building, tested and adapting the rig. Finally launching it in the old Allenheads Reservoir.
But first, we had to lay a lot of cable…
The Hydrophone Rig
We created a raft using a lifebuoy and a plank of wood.The life buoy floats beautifully and works conceptual too. Humans are out of our depths in water – water is an element, like space, in which we cannot survive without special equipment. Conceptually, the lifebuoy is linked to the ‘mothership’ of the North Pennines observatory. It is also linked practically – by a cable. We customised the lifebuoy with lettering BEYOND and our hosts ACA.
The plank of wood on our raft was originally part of a wall at the Old Allenheads School House. It was cut, sanded, varnished and adapted to hold our hydrophones and the audio transformer. Using some nautical rope, we lashed the plank to the life buoy, leaving a loop underneath to secure an anchor.
Launching the rig was little nerve wracking. The cable connectors had to be kept out of the water. We had to keep the boat steady whilst launching and anchoring our rig. Neither of us are experienced rowers, yet somehow we managed not to capsize!
The audio transformer needed adjustment, which meant carefully disconnecting the cable connectors and bringing in the whole rig. We did this several times.
We launched our rig on a sunny Bank Holiday Monday. We named it Terraqueous II.
Thanks to Terraqueous II, extraordinary sounds, made by aquatic life in the pond, are sent live in the North Pennines Observatory. Visitors to the Observatory have the potential to listen in to the Cosmic Pond sounds and 24 hours a day.
We’ve welcomed many visitors already, both at at our Full Moon event and more informally.
Our first event, Full Moon at the Cosmic Pond, was a great success. We had a packed house in the school room as Astronomer and Cosmologist Fred Stevenson gave a talk on the extraordinary characteristics and unsolved mysteries of the moon.
Tonight is the final event of this phase of our residency. We will write more about both of our Cosmic Pond events soon.