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Artist FeatureCulture

Whistling winds.

The Bogong Centre for Sound Culture sound recordings provides unique insights into the dynamic alpine region.

Jun 13, 2022


Words: Gippslandia

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A newly restored school at the Bogong Alpine Village is home to the intriguingly titled Bogong Centre for Sound Culture (B–CSC).

Established in 2010 by Philip Samartzis and Madelynne Cornish, the B–CSC is an independent remote-regional cultural initiative situated in the foothills of Victoria’s Alpine National Park. The Centre supports “projects focusing on the alpine environment; sustainable energy; climate change; remote communities; recreation; fieldwork; and new systems and processes of art-making”.

The artistic collective involved with B–CSC are in the midst of creating the Bogong High Plains Sound Map (BHPSM): A generative website comprising sound recordings of the eco-acoustic characteristics of the Victorian alps to express the effects of climate change, industrialisation and recreational tourism upon this rarefied cold climate ecology.

...sound recordings will expand the way the study region is represented...

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Sound maps are an extension of the traditional textual and visual methods traditionally applied in cartography as they provide an additional data point – an acoustic marker of the location. For this project, sound recordings will expand the way the study region is represented by incorporating seasonal characteristics to enhance audience experience and interaction.

The BHPSM have recorded across three seasons commencing in winter 2021 and will be concluding their fieldwork with the coming autumn. The final website will be launched at the close of this year and will exhibit unique capabilities in utilising real-time data – including temperature, wind speed and precipitation – to activate and contour the recordings, reflecting the prevailing conditions up at the Bogong Village and encouraging dynamic interactions with the sounds and the site.

The impact of the meteorological data on the collected recordings will highlight the ways the isolated alpine environment is transformed by climate and weather, as well as by activities such as power generation, land management, tourism and sport.

01. Rocky Valley Dam Frozen Over, Winter 2021.
01. Rocky Valley Dam Frozen Over, Winter 2021.

02. Wombat Ramble, Winter 2021.
02. Wombat Ramble, Winter 2021.

03. Mount McKay Lookout, Spring 2021.
03. Mount McKay Lookout, Spring 2021.

04. Rocky Valley Dam Wall, Spring 2021.
04. Rocky Valley Dam Wall, Spring 2021.

05. SEC Hut, Summer 2022.
05. SEC Hut, Summer 2022.

06. Snow Melt at Ruined Castle, Spring 2021.
06. Snow Melt at Ruined Castle, Spring 2021.

The Bogong High Plains Sound Map is funded by the Australia Council for the Arts.

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