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Memento Mori: an Interface With the Earth

"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."

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