Brian House is an interdisciplinary sound artist whose work examines in the interplay of human and nonhuman sensing systems. His work is regularly featured within art and environmental design contexts. Currently based at Lewis and Clark University (Portland, Oregon), House’s current project, Macrophones, employs atmospheric infrasound as a way of listening to forests experiencing climate destabilisation.


Macrophones installed in a forest. Image source: Brian House [image]. Retrieved March 28, 2022 from https://brianhouse.net/works/macrophones/

Macrophones consists of sculptural wind filters in forest and urban locations combined with signal processing and machine learning technologies to make infrasound audible for visitors wearing augmented reality headphones. The project attempts to make atmospheric disturbances and phenomena implicated in environmental crisis such as storms, wildfires, and intensified energy infrastructures sense-able, with the aim of "cultivating the global sensitivity on which an equitable climate future depends."

Other acoustics projects in the Atlas (many of them associated with conservation and/or biodiversity ) are concerned with detecting and amplifying particular sounds in order to identify species or signal logging or poaching activity. Macrophones shares these projects' focus on making more-than-human and distant sounds entangled with environmental change perceptible. However, House's artistic approach and emphasis on large-scale, low-frequency sounds also suggests an interest in modes of sensing forest environments where what constitutes data or particular outcomes are not defined in advance.

smart forests radio