Coral Empathy Device by Kat Austen
06 October 2016

Coral Empathy Device -video by Kat Austen is something beautiful to share after the Interfaces for Empathy where it wasn't unfortunately presented as planned in Keinutuoli Korner open programme.

Please view it here

 Kat Austen describes her work like this:

We have a lot in common with coral. It builds shelter to protect itself, and lives in symbiosis with microorganisms which – like our microbiome – help it to survive. Coral acts like a steward to much other marine life, providing a home for the algae with which it lives symbiotically, and creating reefs that are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet.

The Coral Empathy Device is an experiment in interspecies empathy that explores differences in the way we perceive the world, and translates between a coral’s physical experience in its native marine environment and make its experience understandable to a human in their native terrestrial environment, through an embodied interface. Worn over the head, the device is driven by hydrophone recordings from the marine environment near Norwegian coral reefs. It uses principles behind speaker technologies, sound conveyance, touch and smell to create a vibrating immersion that bypasses the visual and disrupts usual modes of cognitive engagement. It surrounds the wearer in a sensory experience that evokes the marine environment and creates a conversation between us and coral in our role as environmental stewards. The artwork is informed by research into embodied cognition, coral biology and exchanges with marine and interspecies researchers.

Please see also her website