Floating Land Archive Site 2021

Holocene Sound Walk

Leah Barclay

Holocene is an immersive sound walk along the edge of the lake at Boreen Point that connects to the soundscapes of global biosphere reserves in response to the 50th Anniversary of the UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme. The work references the current period of geologic time that corresponds with the global changes caused by human activities and technological revolutions. It explores the tensions present in UNESCO biosphere reserves, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges and contradictions of sustainable development.

The audience will walk along the edge of the lake at dusk with their feet in the water wearing wireless headphones and listening to a live soundscape mix. The acoustic ecology will focus around the Noosa Biosphere Reserve revealing invisible ecosystems we usually cannot hear including hydrophones deep in the everglades and microbats navigating the surface of the lake at dusk. The experience will draw on the voices of traditional owners, including Lyndon Davis and Brent Miller and will weave in the soundscapes of biosphere reserves across the planet.

Participants will have the opportunity to contribute an image and audio recording after the experience as part of a research project at USC Sunshine Coast led by Dr Leah Barclay and Dr Tricia King that explores the role of creativity in ecological engagement.

Leah Barclay is an Australian sound artist, designer and researcher who works at the intersection of art, science and technology. Barclay’s research and creative work over the last decade has investigated innovative approaches to recording and disseminating the soundscapes of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to inform conservation, scientific research and public engagement. Her work explores ways we can use creativity, new technologies and emerging science to reconnect communities to the environment and inspire climate action.