Memento Mori: an Interface With the Earth (2001)

Earth Art comes to the Internet: a live seismic net art installation.

Full Description

"All flesh is grass."--Ecclesiastes.

Seismic waves propagate continuously through the earth, reflecting movement from local and distant sources. Mori is an immersive sound and visual installation modulated by live seismic signals transmitted in real time via the Internet from California's Hayward Fault.

The immediacy of the data provides a visceral reminder of passing time and human fragility. Visitors enter a darkened soundproof room and walk up a ramp aided by a handrail. The smell of fresh earth and wood fills the room. Visitors stand on a resonating platform and are enveloped by a layering of low frequency sounds. Visitors also look downward through a portal to view a display resembling a heart monitor; its "trace" slowly decays as the seismic signal moves from left to right, fading gradually to the black background.

Mori's auditory and visual resonance establishes a direct relation between the viewer's body and the Earth. The title of the installation links the Japanese word, Mori: "forest/sanctuary," with the Latin phrase, Memento Mori: "reminder of mortality."

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