UTC +2

civil twilight





Live stream: amsterdam_hydrophile_1.mp3

Amsterdam, Hortus Brug & Berlage Brug

Hydrophile [1] + [5]

Latitude: +52.36735289162164°
Longitude: +4.907130823750805°

The Hydrophiles [1] + [5] are a stereo and a hydrophone stream, reactivated by hydrological engineers working with Waternet, the water authority in Amsterdam. Both streams were part of a family of 8 live audio streams installed around the entire water network in and around Amsterdam as part of the artistic research project 'Polyphonic Landscapes' (2023). 

Hydrophile [1] is a stereo microphone installed inside the cavity space of the historical bascule bridge Hortus Brug in the historic city centre of Amsterdam. An impressive and historic piece of engineering, the bridge is home to pigeons, ducks and plays a polyphonic symphony of the hydro labour that goes into the daily management of the waters. The cavity space acts like an effects chamber amplifying and oscillating the harmonies and overtones of boat motors, electric tramlines, sirens, protests along the canal, open air concerts. 

The Hydrophiles [5] is a hydrophone broadcasting from Berlage Brug. One of the most important traffic nodes in Amsterdam, we can hear every day thousands of cyclists making their way over the bridge; the rowing club next door starts operating at 6am; sometimes we can hear voices of a choir penetrating the surface of the water in early mornings; hundreds of boats motors passing by in the late sunny afternoons creating a rich urban underwater soundscape. 

Both of live audio streams are part of the work entitled 'hydro[Files]' and part of an ongoing research and conversation with hydrological scientists and engineers Maarten Ouboter and Marcel Van Der Blom. Over the course of the 1 year project we located a series of diverse water bodies across the Water Authority Amstel, Gooi and Vecht (Waternet) managing the entire water cycle, and developed a network of 8 live audio streams continuously broadcasting from various sites above and below the waterways of Amsterdam. 
Over a 6-month period of intense on-site fieldwork with hydrological scientists and engineers, we installed microphone and hydrophone streamers across surface, drinking and sewage waters in order to ‘listen with’ the water experts. What do they hear when they ‘listen with’ their environment—what environmental data, natural and unnatural rhythms are they recognising in the liveness of the audio stream and how does it affect their relationship with the water?

From May - December 2023 , the hydrophiles 1-8 were streaming in real-time from inside a bascule bridge, a water pumping station, they dangled off a temporary cycling bridge, hung on top of a sewage treatment plant, dipped into the Amstel canals, swam in a public lido and broadcast via solar power from the sand dunes.  

For more information about the research follow  www.liamazzari.com or https://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/2234568/2234569 https://polyphoniclandscapes.artez.nl for updates and an upcoming publication and podcast documenting the project.