Chinese artist Chris Cheung (aka h0nh1m) created a kinetic art piece, CarbonScape, which is an installation of tubes containing black ‘carbon’ spheres set to the backdrop of an ambient soundscape—music made from noisy CO2 emitters like factory steam, jet engines, and ship horns.
The piece is meant to draw attention to the increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere due to pollution and industrialisation. In 2017, the concentration of carbon dioxide soared to its highest of the past three million years.
According to Cheung’s website, the artistic practice of h0nh1m reflects his beliefs in Chinese Philosophy and his recent works blend ancient and futuristic ideas to create immersive soundscape, generative, and data art.
The installation’s audio accompaniment is made up of 18 one-minute tracks of synthesised ‘natural sound’ samples (recordings taken on-the-scene, in natural context) of sources that leave a carbon footprint.
As the music plays, the black spheres traverse the tubes, signifying the movement of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. CarbonScape uses data from the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to help bring the installation to life.
CarbonScape was shown at the exhibition hall and public area of the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre in January.