"Measuring [...] is essentially such that it is necessary to say 'now'; but in obtaining a measurement, we, as it were, forget what has been measured as such, so that nothing is to be found except a number and a strecth." -- Martin Heidegger, Being and Time
Installation commissioned by FACT, Liverpool, for the group exhibition The New Observatory.
This video and triple-channel audio installation consists of a tide-gauge hut in which tide level predictions produced for Liverpool’s Gladstone dock are read aloud every 15 mins and displayed in the hut. Inspired by the pioneering work of dock master William Hutchison in the 18th century, as well as the work of oceanographer Arthur Thomas Doodson in the 20th century, the project reflects the ways in which traditional tide level measurements have been replaced with predictive mathematical models that are able to accurately forecast what sea levels ought to be at any given time and at any given places, raising questions of what is the "here" and when is the "now" of measurement. This simulated numerical modelling of sea level predictions is emphasised by the synthetic sea rendering displayed inside the hut, as well as the level of precision of the various numerical readings.
Tide-gauge hut; aerial station; sound channel (voice); synthesisers (2x); video 1:30 mins (loop); website; mixed media
130 x 180 x 230 cm (hut)
80 x 80 x 300 cm (station)
Gauthier, David. 2019. “Phase to Phase: On Oceanic Oscillations, Measurements, Predictions, and Chronographs.” ASAP/Journal 4 (3): 487–95. https://doi.org/10.1353/asa.2019.0048.
Nathan Jones (voice)
Mike Pelletier (sea rendering)
The New Observatory. FACT, Liverpool (2017). Image: Gareth Jones.