Sounds like a problem ...

Photo: Linda Robertson
Photo: Linda Robertson
West Coast artist Vicki Smith (left) and Otago Polytechnic communication design academic leader Assoc  Prof Caro McCaw listen to a recording transmitting inside an umbrella in the interactive exhibition Sounding, in Dunedin.

The electronically enhanced umbrellas in the exhibition emit sounds including those of whales and dolphins.

The exhibition, made with support from the GigCity Community Fund from Chorus, investigates how noise pollution affects  the marine environment off Dunedin’s coastline, particularly the negative effect on marine mammals.

"Sound pollution has been linked with whale strandings and scientist Kenneth Balcomb found evidence of whales’ ears bleeding and brain haemorrhage in extreme cases of noise pollution," Prof McCaw, of Dunedin, said.

A rise in machine noise in the sea put strain on the ecosystem of New Zealand’s marine mammals, she said.

The exhibition was a call to action for better management and research into the connections between noise pollution and the mammals.

The Dunedin exhibition was co-created by Prof McCaw, Ms Smith, sound artist Leyton Glen and creative technologist Andrew Hornblow.

The  exhibition opened at 165 George St last week and runs  until October 15. It has also opened  at the Skinner Annex, at Otago Museum.

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