The Cosmic Pond

Collaborative Project with Ian Thompson
Sarah Sparkes & Ian Thompson were awarded a residency at Allenheads Contemporary Arts in Northumberland, as part of the BEYOND project.
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In 2018, Sparkes and Thompson were selected for a residency at Allenheads Contemporary Arts in Northumberland, UK as part of the BEYOND project.

“In May and July 2018 we set out to create sonifications of the invisible interacting forces connecting space and time in and around the North Pennines Observatory.

The adjacent reservoir was transformed into The Cosmic Pond, where aquatic lifeforms could be heard chattering away in their own alien languages – perhaps even discussing the rhythms of life on the land and in the celestial skies above.

We invited visitors to join us collecting data, sounds, images and narratives around The Cosmic Pond. We recorded night-time activity of lifeforms communicating beyond the range of human hearing, with bat detectors and hydrophones, and lead soundwalks into the far-from-silent wilderness of the Allen Valleys

We created a and launched Terraqueous II, a hydrophone rig, in the Old School House Reservoir. The very active pond sounds were sent live from the pond to the North Pennines Observatory, where they could be heard 24 hours a day for over two months.

The Cosmic Pond was also broadcast live on the internet via Locus Sonus for the closing weekend of the BEYOND project.

Visitors to the final BEYOND weekend were able to listen to the pond sounds via  silent disco headphones as they wondered around the Allenheads locale.

The Cosmic Pond

Terraqueous II Hydrophone Rig

Visitors were invited to join us collecting data, sounds, images and narratives from various locations around Allenheads, recording night-time activity at the Cosmic Pond with portable sound recorders and hydrophones. Visitors  also take part in nocturnal sound walking and nature recording.

Two night time events were organised with hosts ACA and partners The North Pennines Observatory:

Full Moon at the Cosmic Pond & Sunset to Sunrise at the Cosmic Pond
Read the full details on the blog page.

Check the news page  for project updates.


Sparkes & Thompson’s ACA residency page

BEYOND at Allenheads Contemporary Arts

The Cosmic Pond

The Cosmic Pond