The CarbonScape installation by Chinese artist Chris Cheung (aka h0nh1m), mimics the sounds of jet engines, ship horns, steam, chimneys, and other carbon emitters, blending them together into an immersive soundscape. The sounds are visualized by a bamboo forest-like field of tubes and black ‘carbon’ balls. The result is a piece of art that speaks to the effects of fossil fuel use and industrialization on our planet.
The kinetic soundscape installation consists of 18 tracks of synthesized sound samples. The artist collected these noises from the sound sources where a carbon footprint is left, for example, the sound from the jet engine, steam from a factory or the horn of the ship. These tracks are blended into a unified soundscape. As the sounds are emitted, black balls rise and fall to represent the carbon in a particular part of the planet.
CarbonScape uses data acquired from the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to help bring the visualization to life. According to their findings, in 2017 the concentration of CO2 soared to its highest of the past three million years. The data show that this increase can be largely attributed to industrialization and the use of fossil fuels.