Workshop 1 – Streaming Lab – Workshop and Presentations on Biosphere Open Microphones (BIOM)

When: Sunday 10:15am to 12pm, Queensland Conservatorium Board Room, Level 3

Organisers: Grant Smith (soundCamp), Maria Papadomanolaki (soundCamp), Rob Mackay
(University of Hull), Leah Barclay (Biosphere Soundscapes, Griffith University)

BIOM is a multi partner project developing a network of locally operated open microphones that
relay live sounds from a variety of habitats in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.
This special session will introduce the project from the basic technical requirements for setting up a
stream, to the organisations involved and contexts that inform it.

The UNESCO Man And Biosphere programme supports innovative relationships between people
and their environments at Biosphere Reserves around the world. We describe organisations and
individuals working together within that frame, using accessible streaming technologies to share
environmental sounds in real-time. These projects span from domestic interventions to formal
research programmes. Case studies include a ‘community of transmission’ that has formed around
streaming sounds of migratory butterflies in the State of Mexico; and new installations at Noosa
Biosphere Reserve, Australia, and South Walney Island, UK, where translating live sounds from
one place to another can grant access to little known, inaccessible or fragile sites.
Together these initiatives are creating an increasingly diverse and detailed ‘live archive’ of habitats,
with stereo omidirectional microphones that convey interactions among different species and
acoustic niches, as they shift in response to daily and seasonal flows of weather, migrations and
human activity. In some cases, as with Cyberforest at the University of Tokyo, sounds are recorded
remotely, creating long term public databases for environmental monitoring.

In the spirit of ‘art-science-activism’ as described by Donna Haraway, Anna Tsing and others, BIOM
combines detailed, often traditional kinds of field work with networked digital technogies to widen
and enrich our sense of place; and offers new tools for research and environmental engagement.
The workshop is an opportunity to work directly with Raspberry Pi based streamboxes and mobile
streaming technologies, and find out how to get involved in the project.

• Grant Smith (soundCamp, UK) – Real-time ecoacoustics for art-science-activism.
• Rob Mackay (University of Hull, UK) – Live streaming monarch butterflies Danaus
plexippus at their winter roosts in the Monarch Buttefly Biosphere Reserve, Cerro Pelón,
State of Mexico.
• Leah Barclay (Griffith University, Australia) – Developing live streaming within the frame of
the UNESCO MAB with Biosphere Soundscapes in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve.
• Maria Papadomanolaki (University of Brighton, UK) – Shifting perceptual ecologies through
live performance with mobile streams.