Tag Archives: rivers

Riverfire 2016

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Listen to a preview of the River Listening South Bank sound walk for Riverfire 2016 

Griffith University will bring its own form of colour and energy to the Riverfire weekend, as the curtain comes down on the 2016 Brisbane Festival.

A series of digital installations will celebrate the senses during the weekend and after. ‘Heart and Breath’ will light up the walls of the Art Gallery and Webb Centre at South Bank on Saturday night, while imagined sounds from the world beneath the Brisbane River will be accessible through the River Listening augmented reality sound installation.

The installations are hosted by Griffith University Red Zone,  which provides exciting interactive learning experiences through hands-on technology and exploring innovative research in science, health, business and the arts.

River Listening is an augmented reality sound installation reimagining the world beneath the Brisbane River in sound. The installation can be experienced by walking along the river with a mobile device and triggering geo-located soundscapes throughout South Bank. These geo-located sounds are layered with hydrophone (underwater) recordings and creative responses to the Brisbane River that connect to the soundscapes of river systems across the world.

This installation is part of an interdisciplinary project exploring the art and science of listening to rivers and the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics. River Listening explores rivers as the lifeblood of communities and the potential for new approaches in the conservation of global river systems.

To experience River Listening download the free app Recho and your phone will act as a sonic compass guiding you throughout South Bank. New sounds will be added and adapted throughout Riverfire meaning every person will have a different listening experience.

Use the hashtags #RiverListening, #griffithredzone and #beremarkable on social media to share your experiences.

World Science Festival

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The World Science Festival began in New York in 2008 and is an annual weeklong celebration and exploration of science. The inaugural World Science Festival Brisbane will bring some of the world’s greatest thought leaders to Queensland, showcase local scientists and performers from around the Asia Pacific region, and host the brightest and the best from previous events in New York.

The inaugural World Science Festival Brisbane will take place between 9 and 13 March 2016 and is presented by the Queensland Museum. River Listening is thrilled to be a featured part of the program with our popular River Listening Augmented Reality Sound Installation for the duration of the festival. We are also pleased to present a number of activities on March 12th including a live performance, presentation and series of our signature sound walks (see the program below).

RIVER LISTENING INSTALLATION

River Listening is an augmented reality sound installation reimagining the world beneath the Brisbane River in sound. The installation can be experienced by walking along the river with a mobile device and listening to content that is geo-located along the river. These geo-located soundscapes are layered with hydrophone (underwater) recordings and creative responses to the Brisbane River. This installation is part of our interdisciplinary project exploring the art and science of listening to rivers across the world. River Listening explores rivers as the lifeblood of communities and underscores the value of listening in our current state of ecological uncertainty.

To experience River Listening download the free app Recho and your phone will act as a compass guiding you on a sonic exploration along the Brisbane River. The soundscapes will evolve with new material added every day during WSF. Follow the hashtag #RiverListening on twitter for live updates on site and tweet @LeahBarclay if you have any questions. River Listening launches on March 9th and continues until March 13th.

RIVER LISTENING PROGRAM

Date: Saturday 12th March
Cultural Forecourt, Melbourne Street, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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STREET SCIENCE, RIVER LISTENING LAB

10am – 4pm, Booth 21 (near the Festival Lab)

Come and meet the River Listening team (Dr. Simon Linke, Dr. Leah Barclay and Dr. Toby Gifford), learn about the art and science of listening to rivers, experiment with a hydrophone (underwater microphone), learn more about our sound installation and experience hands-on demonstrations of our aquatic bioacoustics technology.

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RIVER LISTENING – Afternoon tour

15:30 – 16:30, Festival Lab

Meeting point details: The River Listening Walking Tour departs the River Listening tent (located next to the Festival Lab venue) at 3:30pm on Saturday, March 12.

River Listening is an interdisciplinary project exploring the art and science of listening to rivers across the world. Join the River Listening team on a 60-minute guided sound walk along the Brisbane River to learn about the project and explore aquatic soundscapes geo-located throughout the Southbank Parklands. To experience the River Listening installation you will need a mobile device and headphones to use the free app Recho. Participants will also have the opportunity to listen to a live hydrophone in the Brisbane river. Please download the free app Recho before the walk.

Leah Barclay

RIVER LISTENING LIVE

5:30pm-6:30pm, Festival Lab

River Listening is an interdisciplinary research project that explores the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics and the potential for new approaches in the conservation of global river systems. The project inspires community engagement through interactive listening labs, sound maps, immersive performances and augmented reality sound installations that have travelled the world. River Listening combines digital technologies, science and creativity to connect communities and inspire environmental engagement. Join internationally renowned artists and scientists Dr. Leah Barclay, Dr. Simon Linke and Dr. Toby Gifford to learn about the project and hear an exclusive live performance for World Science Festival.

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RIVER LISTENING – Night tour

18:45 – 19:45, Festival Lab

Meeting point details: The River Listening Walking Tour departs the River Listening tent (located next to the Festival Lab venue) at 6:45pm on Saturday 12 March.

River Listening is an interdisciplinary project exploring the art and science of listening to rivers across the world. Join the River Listening team on a 60-minute guided sound walk along the Brisbane River to learn about the project and explore aquatic soundscapes geo-located throughout the Southbank Parklands. To experience the River Listening installation you will need a mobile device and headphones to use the free app Recho. Participants will also have the opportunity to listen to a live hydrophone in the Brisbane river. Please download the free app Recho before the walk.

 
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Dr. Simon Linke is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University. Dr. Leah Barclay and Dr. Toby Gifford are Research Fellows at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith Univeristy. We acknowledge the support of Griffith University in this project.

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Pause Fest 2016, Australia

Melbourne’s first River Listening experience explored the Yarra River and launched during Pause Fest 2016. The augmented reality installation can be experienced by walking along the Yarra River with a mobile device and listening to content that is geotagged along the river bank. As you walk along the path, the sounds of the river system are layered with sonic art and river stories for Pause delegates to discover between sessions. In addition to the Yarra soundscapes, this experience stretched through Federation Square with a sound map connecting river systems across the world.

Leah Barclay

Leah Barclay

Leah Barclay

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Leah Barclay

WIRA – Video Preview

WIRA is an interactive sound installation that reimagines the world beneath the surface of the Noosa River for Floating Land 2015 at the Noosa Regional Gallery in Queensland, Australia. The installation opened on August 27 and runs until October 18. This is one of the first major create outcomes from River Listening.

This video preview explains the project.

WIRA – Floating Land 2015 from Leah Barclay on Vimeo.

WIRA can be experienced by walking along the river with a smart phone and listening to content that is geotagged from Noosa Regional Gallery to the river mouth. As you walk along the river bank, the sounds of the Noosa River system are layered with sonic art, stories and soundscapes from Floating Land over the last ten years.

World Listening Day 2015

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You are invited to participate in World Listening Day 2015, an annual global event held on July 18.

The purposes of World Listening Day are to:

  • Celebrate the listening practices of the world and the ecology of its acoustic environments;
  • Raise awareness about the growing number of individual and group efforts that creatively explore Acoustic Ecology based on the pioneering efforts of the World Soundscape Project, World Forum for Acoustic EcologyLa Semaine du SonDeep Listening Institute, among many others;
  • Design and implement educational initiatives that explore these concepts and practices.

This year’s theme for World Listening Day is “H2O”.

The global water crisis means 750 million people around the world lack access to safe water. Water is rapidly becoming the commodity of the 21st century and the catastrophic effects of climate change often involve negative associations with water. Rising sea levels, devastating floods, melting ice in Antarctica and droughts spreading throughout the globe, all highlight our increasingly unpredictable and extreme relationship with water.

Yet H2O is vital for life, water covers 71% of the Earth’s surface, and 60% of our bodies are made of water. Oceans, rivers and lakes are the core of many of the world’s iconic cities and historically civilizations formed around water. Indigenous communities across the globe believe water is at the core of our existence. For thousands of years communities have lived sustainably by holding significant cultural and spiritual value of rivers, lakes and oceans.

World leaders believe we need to create a cultural shift in how we think about water. We need a better understanding and awareness of the value of water and we need to make critical changes to avoid the ramifications of the global water crisis. In the words of Sylvia Earle “even if you never have the chance to see or touch the ocean, the ocean touches you with every breath you take, every drop of water you drink, every bite you consume. Everyone, everywhere is inextricably connected to and utterly dependent upon the existence of the sea.”

World Listening Day 2015: H2O invites you to reflect on water, metaphorically in how you listen, or through creative events inspired by water and sound across the globe. The 2015 theme resonates at a time where we need to shift our collective thinking and actions towards water globally.

World Listening Day 2015 includes the H2O virtual symposium hosted onWaterWheel, an electronic publication, and hundreds of events taking place across the globe.

World Listening Day is co-organized by the World Listening Project (WLP), the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE) and Biosphere Soundscapes. July 18 was chosen because it is the birthday of Canadian writer, educator, philosopher, visual artist, and composer R. Murray Schafer. His efforts leading the World Soundscape Project and his seminal book, The Tuning of the World, inspired global interest in a new field of research and practice known as Acoustic Ecology.

World Listening ProjectMidwest Society for Acoustic Ecology and Biosphere Soundscapes invite you to participate in World Listening Day 2015 on Saturday, July 18, and through the week of July 12th-18th. Some suggestions on how you can participate and organize include:

  • Soundwalks or listening events in your local community, with a particular focus on oceans, rivers, lakes and catchments
  • Field recording trips or workshops
  • Site-specific performance events
  • Concerts curating water inspired compositions (contact us to connect with composers and sound artists)
  • Personal experiences of attentive listening or field recording
  • Educational events that relate to acoustic ecology, field recording, or a similar topic
  • Public talks or lectures about listening, water and acoustic ecology including participation in the World Listening Day H2O virtual symposium on July 17-18.

Use the hashtag #WLD2015 to connect with other local and global groups participating in the World Listening Day 2015: H2O and get involved.

Participation in World Listening Day is rapidly expanding every year. In this sixth year we anticipate even greater activity and interest.

Please join in the World Listening Day 2015 activities by emailing worldlistening@mwsae.org about your plans and be sure to include “World Listening Day” in the subject line.

Please fill out the World Listening Day 2015 online participation form so we can promote your projects and include them in our documentation.

Please use our Quick Submission Form if you would prefer to provide brief details about your activities. It will only take two minutes! Thanks!

UNESCO Masterclass Series

In February 2015 a new UNESCO masterclass was delivered as a dynamic blended learning experience for the Asia-Pacific region. Titled “UNESCO Biosphere Reserves as Learning Laboratories for Sustainability”, the program involved immersive masterclasses occurring in Australian Biosphere Reserves accompanied by lectures streamed live online. The program was developed by Leah Barclay in collaboration with UNESCO and provided an opportunity to develop educational tools to bring River Listening into biosphere reserves internationally.

The network of UNESCO biosphere reserves across the Asia-Pacific region offers a unique opportunity for synthesizing experiences and sharing knowledge in response to the ramifications of climate change. This UNESCO masterclass showcased the local and global value of biosphere reserves as learning laboratories for sustainability. It highlighted a series of projects and innovative ideas uniting the conservation of biological and cultural diversity. The initial modules focused on local issues exploring community engagement, partnerships and projects, while the concluding modules focused on global issues across the Asia-Pacific and introduced the opportunities for knowledge sharing, virtual collaborations and the future possibilities of creative technology in responding to climate change.

This masterclass identified a clear need to develop accessible tools that enable biosphere reserves to share their experiences. The Asia-Pacific region could act as a catalyst in inspiring international biosphere reserves to take climate action and one of the most critical tools will be the ability to creatively and collaboratively share advice, ideas and actions from other communities who have had similar experiences. Through this masterclass, the value and future possibilities of UNESCO biosphere reserves was deeply explored to showcase how these sites could have a significant impact in shaping local, national and international climate adaptation responses by engaging communities in interdisciplinary projects.

Underpinning this project is the opportunity to harness the possibilities of mobile technology and community engagement to strengthen the network of UNESCO biosphere reserves. The blended learning experience of this masterclass was developed through a process of research and experimentation to form the most effective tool kit to facilitate accessible education programs. The masterclass proved that embracing the possibilities of this emerging technology will improve cooperation and awareness of the Asia Pacific Biosphere Reserve Network.

The immersive masterclasses in Australia were hosted in Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve in Queensland and Mornington Peninsula and Western Port Biosphere Reserve in Victoria. These sessions included interactive demonstrations on bioacoustics and creative approaches to ecosystem monitoring. The immersive programs were supported by weekly live streams throughout February and March hosted on www.biosherelab.org through Google+ and YouTube’s live streaming platform. The live stream included a realtime Q&A session that leveraged social media platforms such as twitter and encouraged participants to connect online. Biosphere Lab (www.biospherelab.org) was launched as the online platform to host this masterclass and was developed in collaboration with Dr Leah Barclay, UNESCO and CONNECT Asia. The masterclass content was created by Leah Barclay.

Projects featured throughout this masterclass included Floating Land, an interdisciplinary art event in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve, the international Balance-Unbalance initiative exploring the role of creativity in climate change and a wide spectrum of projects taking an innovative and accessible approach to environmental monitoring. These include Rainforest Connections (www.rfcx.org) a project that protects rainforests by transforming recycled cell-phones into autonomous, solar-powered listening devices that can monitor and pinpoint chainsaw activity at great distance, and Biosphere Soundscapes (www.biospheresoundscapes.org), a bioacoustics project exploring the changing soundscapes of UNESCO biosphere reserves through creativity and digital technology. The masterclass also introduced emerging projects such as Racing Extinction (www.racingextinction.com) a global movement involving a team of artists and activists exposing the hidden world of endangered species and the value of connecting people to the sights and sounds of the natural world in order to inspire climate action.

As technology continues to become more accessible there are exceptional opportunities to explore the possibilities and continue connecting communities. This masterclass was an example of exploring what is possible, and it has been successful in engaging people across the Asia-Pacific region and across the world. The participation was focused mainly through Australia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia, but the live streams also engaged participants from Mexico to New York and New Zealand to Spain. This masterclass was not about traditional education, but exploring new dynamic models that combine global engagement with immersive experiences and leverage new technologies that are rapidly becoming accessible.

This masterclass highlighted the benefits of technology, creativity, culture and community engagement. It proved that communities must feel inspired, connected and supported when responding to natural disasters and environmental changes. The network of Asia-Pacific biosphere reserves opens up the possibilities for connected communities who value culture and think creatively in response to climate change. Biosphere reserves are highly critical sites as we move towards a future of environmental uncertainty. As learning laboratories for sustainability, biosphere reserves present an incredible opportunity to connect communities across the world in responding to the greatest environmental challenges of our time.  Communities of biosphere reserves must be aware of their local and global value, engaged in participatory projects and inspired to take action. This masterclass demonstrated that technology, creativity, culture and participatory engagement has the capacity to inspire resilient communities and shape a sustainable future.

Hydrophone recording in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve
Hydrophone recording in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve

River Listening Cambodia

In December 2014 Leah Barclay was invited to three UNESCO Meetings in Cambodia

– The 8th Southeast Asia Biosphere Reserves Network (SeaBRnet) Meeting

– The 2nd Asia-Pacific Biosphere Reserves Networks (APBRN) Strategic Meeting

– Asia-Pacific Workshop on Strengthening Capacity for Management of Biosphere Reserves and Protected Areas

During these meetings Leah facilitated two sessions on UNESCO biosphere reserves and also presented on the future possibilities of the River Listening project. Leah hosted a informal River Listening lab during the a field trip in the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve.

Ly Sophanna listening to the Tonlé Sap river in Cambodia.
Ly Sophanna listening to the Tonlé Sap river in Cambodia.

Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. It expands to 12,000 km at the peak of the rainy season and recedes to about 3,000 km in the dry season. The Tonle Sap great lake and its floodplain was internationally recognized as Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve (TSBR) in 1997 by UNESCO under The Man and The Biosphere (MA) program and was formally designated by Royal Decree of the Royal Government of Cambodia in 2001. The bird sanctuary at the Prek Toal core area has been often called ‘the single most important breeding ground in Southeast Asia for globally threatened large water birds’. Of the three Biosphere core areas on the Tonle Sap Lake, Prek Toal is the most accessible from Siem Reap and the most popular place for bird watchers.

IMPORTANCE OF THE WATERBIRDS CONSERVATION

Prek Toal Core Area regularly supports more than 50,000 waterbirds, and at least six migratory waterbirds meet the 1% criteria for EAA Flyway Site Network nomination.

THREATS & CONSERVATION CONCERNS

Major threats in Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve are:

– Overexploitation of fisheries and wildlife resources

– Agricultural Expansion: conversion of the flooded forest to agriculture

– Deforestation for firewood and agriculture in flooded forests and watersheds

– Changes in water levels by dam constructions in Mekong River – Increased industrial/urban pollution and agricultural runoff

– Human population increases and rising levels of poverty

– Introduction of non‐native species

– Climate Change

CONSERVATION ACTIONS

To address these threats, the Tonle Sap Environmental Management Project (TSEMP, 2002‐2007), later becoming the Tonle Sap Conservation Project (TSCP) (2005‐2011), were funded by ADB and GEF and the counterpart fund. The main goal of the projects is sustainable management and conservation of natural resources and biodiversity through several strategies and practices including environmental management projects, rural water supply and sanitation sector projects, sustainable livelihoods projects, and environmental information database establishment. Although the project ended, Department of Wetlands and Coastal Zones, General Department of Administration for Nature Conservation and Protection in Ministry of Environment have continued the activities of the project in cooperation with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Four key activities are implemented, including protection of breeding colonies of large waterbirds, stream protection, awareness raising for local communities and school aged children, and community support through ecotourism which provides income revenue for local communities.

 

2014 World Parks Congress

The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 is a landmark global forum on protected areas. The Congress will share knowledge and innovation, setting the agenda for protected areas conservation for the decade to come. Building on the theme “Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions”, it will present, discuss and create original approaches for conservation and development, helping to address the gap in the conservation and sustainable development agenda.

Dr Leah Barclay was invited to speak about the development of the River Listening project in the ‘inspiring a new generation’ stream.  Leah also hosted a demo of the River Listening sound installation and played hydrophone recording for the congress during a digital showcase. 

This ‘inspiring a new generation’  stream empowered the growth of an enduring global initiative for a new generation to experience, connect with, be inspired by, value, and conserve nature. It will bring the powerful voices of young people from across the globe to the Congress, along with key partners in the conservation community, corporate and social leaders, educators, and others, to share their experiences, perspectives, knowledge, skills, technologies, and ideas in innovative and creative ways, and empowering them to take leadership to ensure the on-going stewardship of nature. The stream will support a shared vision to connect a new generation to nature and ensure new leadership and engagement of young people in support of inter-generational partnerships for parks, people and planet.

The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 will articulate the vital role of protected areas in conserving nature while delivering essential ecosystem services and position protected areas within goals of economic and community well-being, and demonstrate how this can be achieved in practice.

For parks, it will strengthen conservation targets whilst engaging a varied audience from government to general members of society who care about the health of our planet.

For people, it will engage with development sectors and inspire citizens to connect with nature.

For the planet, it will demonstrate nature-based solutions to global challenges such as climate change, health, and supporting human life.

For the first time, the Congress will collate and communicate the most compelling and inspiring solutions to global challenges. It will help create new sustainable commitments for protected areas across the conservation, development and business sectors. This will be the promise of Sydney.

www.worldparkscongress.org

River Listening Los Angeles

Leah Barclay has started a new collaboration with the L.A. River Corp to launch River Listening Los Angeles. In October 2014 she led a series of presentations with organisations in LA that are working on the Los Angeles River Revitalisation Plan.

Leah Barclay and the L.A. River Corp also did a series of River Listening recording sessions to start capturing the sounds of the Los Angeles River. The project will launch in 2015 in partnership with local organisations.

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River Listening recording at the iconic sixth street bridge on the L.A. River
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Recording the L.A River in Marsh Park with L.A River Corp.

The L.A. River Corp is a nonprofit whose mission is to ensure the 51-mile Los Angeles River integrates design and infrastructure to bring people and nature together. They champion river-oriented policy and sustainable public spaces, while creating innovative models for community benefit and participation.  

Listen(n) Symposium, Arizona

In October 2014 Leah Barclay was invited to premiere the River Listening installation at the ASU Art Museum in Arizona as part of the Listen(n) Symposium.

The symposium featured scholarly and creative presentations, including research papers, panel discussions, musical performances, installations, and sound walks and a welcome from Tohono O’odham musicians.  It provided a forum for a growing body of scholarship and creative activities on acoustic ecologies and sustainability issues of American Southwest desert.

The keynote address at the ASU Art Museum on October 16 featured Dr. Sabine Breitsameter (Berlin/Darmstadt), Professor for Sound and Media Culture at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.

The keynote was proceeded by a collaborative community engagement in making John Cages 49 Waltzes for the Tempe campus, a concert of John Cages Child of Tree by Simone Mancuso and opening remarks from Tamara Underiner, Associate Dean, Research, HIDA, and was followed by an opening reception at the ASU Art Museum.

The full day Symposium on October 17th, 2015, began with an opening welcome and blessing by “Kieg Mek Ne’edham kc Kehindam” from the Gu Achi District, Tohono O’odham Nation, led by Simon Lopez, traditional singer, curer, and cowboy.  It also featured presentations from the Chair of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, Eric Leonardson and the founder of the Balance-Unbalance conference, Ricardo Dal Farra with opening remarks from the Director of IHR, Sally Kitch and a presentation and demo of the EcoRift system for Oculus Rift developed as part of the Listen(n) project to enable remote visitation to national park environments by the elderly and disabled.

The closing concert at the ASU Art Museum featured new musical works composed from the sounds of the SW Deserts recoded as part of the Listen(n) Project by leading acoustic ecology composers include Ros Bandt (AU), Leah Barclay (AU), Douglas Quin (USA), Ricardo Dal Farra (CDN), and Garth Paine (USA/AU).

The inaugural Listen(n) Symposium was hosted by the ASU Art Museum, the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts and the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Funding support was received from the Institute for Humanities Research, Herberger Institute, and the Schools of Music, Arts Media and Engineering and International Letters and Cultures, ASU.

The River Listening installation featured throughout the symposium in the foyer of the ASU Art Museum.

“River Listening is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Leah Barclay and the Australian Rivers Institute to explore the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics and the potential for new approaches in the conservation of global river systems. The project involves listening labs, field recording, sound maps, performances and installations to experiment with virtual technologies and community engagement in understanding river health and aquatic biodiversity. 

This exclusive installation for the 2014 Listen(n) Symposium draws on hydrophone (underwater) recordings from the Mary River, Noosa River and Brisbane River in Queensland, Australia collected throughout 2014. The additional sonic material draws on fragments from Barclay’s previous rivers projects across Australia, Brazil, India, Korea, China and Europe. This includes the Amazon River Dolphin in central Brazil, water insects at dusk on the banks of the Pamba in southern India, snapping shrimp in Australia’s Noosa River and explorations on London’s iconic Thames. This installation explores rivers as the lifeblood of communities and draws on ten years of collaborations with river systems across the world.”

Further information on the full symposium program is available here – http://listennsymposium2014.sched.org/