CO2 Level : going up

Interactive Installations, Music


Listen to the rise in Carbon Dioxide over the past five decades as the Nishi carpark lift transports you through time from1968 at the bottom carpark B4 level up to 2008 at Ground level and then up to the present day when the doors open at Hotel Hotel level. As you step out of the lift hear in your minds ear how the sound climbs to a cataclysmic climactic climax.

The lift is a small and intimate space that is usually silent. This sonic installation turns the lift into an instrument for listening to the increasing levels of human generated CO2 that is causing global warming. The soundscape is a sonification of the CO2 levels over the past 5 decades known as Keeling curve.

Each lift level rises through a decade of the Keeling data set, The altitude of the lift above sealevel is measured with a barometric pressure sensor. The sound is produced using the Mozzi software for sound synthesis that we wrote and released as open source on github in 2012. Mozzi allows you to program interactive sounds and boutique DIY syntheseisers on a small, cheap and robust Arduino micorcontroller.

The sonification sound system was built with the MozziByte hardware which we created and which has just been funded on Kickstarter this month. MozziByte allows designers, artists, makers, musicians and students to prototype and make innovative and imaginative sonic products, sound art installations and custom synthesisers by providing the core audio components needed in every project.


Stephen Barrass has a Ph.D. on data sonification, which is the design of sounds to convey useful information. He organised the Listening to the Mind Listening concert of brainwave sonifications at the Sydney Opera House Studio in 2004. Last year he organised the International Conference on Auditory Display, which is the premeiere conference on sonification, here in Canberra.



1:00 pm - 7:00 pm | Nishi Ground Floor