Noah Pred - Insolvency (Thirst Principles)

Monochrome open edition featuring ambient sonification elements.

Oil and water do not mix. Our biosphere and bodies require water; the Anthropocene as we know it continues to thirst for oil. Can the accelerating breakdown of global climate systems be understood through the lens of this elemental incompatibility?

Constructed with custom sonification tools developed by Pred in Max/MSP, nearly all musical components of the piece are generated from data sets exploring the impact of petroleum on our waterways and ice caps, access to drinking water, hydropower usage, and the price of crude oil.

The goal is not to translate these data points in a literal way, but to use them as starting points for creative exploration. If data is the new oil, can it fuel creativity - not just capture profit? Aside from the biases so often inherent in its collection, data tends to be corrupted in its expression, collapsing reality into abstraction. Composing with arbitrary musical outputs generated from these data sets reflects the dubious nature of much contemporary data usage.

Visualized by the artist in TouchDesigner, freely available drone footage of oil fields and processing facilities are contrasted with aquatic elements, manipulated and depicted in the bounds of a truncated circle, overlaid with pixelated data trails implying the degrading effect of digitized information itself.

Total length: 2:23

Audio + Visuals: Noah Pred
Publicly available datasets used for the audio were obtained from:
Drone footage used for the visuals obtained from:

Technical details: All sound design, production, and visual outputs by Noah Pred. Created using Max/MSP, Ableton Live, and TouchDesigner. 1080p MP4.