Im Löwenhafen von Milet

Cabinet with interactive Flash installation

Touchscreen, computer, loudspeakers, amplifier, 53.4 x 43.2 x 86.3 cm
Seismic data provided by Dr. Suzi Woelz, University of Kiel


Im Löwenhafen von Milet

Technical basics
Audification of measurements from hammer seismic survey conducted in the archaeological excavation site of Miletus. Geographical mapping of these sounds on the plan of the preliminary magnetic survey.

Artistic aspects
Extract from the opening address by Maija Julius: “The first acknowledged cartographer in history is Anaximander who lived in the ancient city of Miletus. Now forming part of western Turkey, Miletus was the birthplace of science in the sixth century BC. Since excavations first commenced at the beginning of the nineteenth century this ‘Manhattan of Antiquity’ has become a major research site. […] Dombois’ touchscreen installation Im Löwenhafen von Milet (In the Lions’ Harbour of Miletus) focuses on the survey of the underground in the ancient harbour basin. The so-called hammer seismic survey entails examining the earth’s crust using artificially generated seismic waves. Depending on how the shockwaves migrate through the ground, this method yields information on the various types of rock and substrata. This method was used by archaeologists to reconstruct the area of the original harbour basin and represent it graphically in a depth profile.
Rather than plotting the results of the hammer seismic survey and the propagation of the seismic waves Im Löwenhafen von Milet onto a graphic chart, Dombois has converted the data into an acoustic ‘diagram’ incorporating the factor of time. [...] This enables us to acoustically perceive the pattern of the waves propagating through the underground, which varies depending on the virtual topographical location.
Here the artist is endeavouring to stage an associative presentation of the research results. Consequently, he secures the scope necessary, for example, to process the acoustic material (the impact of the hammer blows) into something musically exciting for Im Löwenhafen von Milet.”