a syntfarm exploration.

Kusu Island
Coral Reef/Intertidal Zone
Andreas Schlegel and Vladimir Todorovic

May 20th, 2007, 6:28am-9:21am
1.223337 103.858821 kml file
Altitude between 2 - 32 meters
Humidity 83%
Temperature 28c


kusu anemone is an audio-visual performance inspired by a reef-walk that happened on kusu island near singapore on the 20th of may, 2007.


data gathering happened during the morning walk when we witnessed very low tide(7am: 0.1m, 8am: 0.0m) and observed various intertidal life forms. data sets taken: digital photos, videos, sound, gps locations, hand writings, etc. the collected data drove the audio visual performance which happened on the 29th of july at the 'dis-locate' festival in tokyo, japan.


the idea for performance was to relive and express the moments and discoveries during the reef-walk at kusu. a new sound engine was written in java, which was combined with the previous drum machine software. one projection consisted of photographs which were tagged by their locations and time (the information about where and when the pictures were taken were also displayed in sink with the photos on the screen) following the video documentation of the life forms. next to this was a projection of our journal and various synthetic forms which revealed some of the discoveries from the intertidal landscape.

performance tools

2 projections, 1 robust sound system, 2 laptops, 1 joystick, 1 tripod, 1 torch light, 1 ground-sheet. the visuals and the audio software are written in processing and are performed on os x systems.

performance excerpt

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sound samples

original footage

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we arrived to kusu Island at 6:28am just before the sunrise at 6:50am. the tide was supposed to be very low - 0.1m at 7am, 0.0m at 8am, and it would come back at 11am with 1m height. after getting off the boat, in minutes we were walking on the coral reef located around 10km south of singapore. first life-forms to spot were a few common sea stars on 25 feet above the sea level. we walked another 35 meters towards the sea and we were at 5 feet altitude. not only that the sand was moving, but the whole sea bed was full of creatures: anemone, clamps, fish, corals and a lot of sea bed hills created by reef worms.

the landscape was rocky and flat. corals, sponges, rocks, plants were sunbathing and the luminescence in water was making the space really something. an anemone was eating a crab. goby fish were waiting in the holes that captivated enough water for them to survive before the high tide comes in. an octopus quickly hid bellow the corals. again, we were being bombarded with biodata. patterns, surfaces, dynamic systems. not much color, green, brown, dark gray. and sometimes, white and purple anemone in its fluid and dynamic moods, eating shrimp or vice versa. branching sponges that looked like electric wires without isolation. this experience was possible because of the sun's, the moon's and the earth's interactions and their magnetic forces that attracted large bodies of water.

the high tide was coming in a fast pace. our location was in the terrain which was the house of the intertidal flora and fauna. the oblique rocks were silently illustrating the dislocation or temporarily disappearance of water and the space that felt that was not meant for humans. there was an overwhelming sound of snails cracking bellow our feet. thousands of them.

we spotted several rusty cans, disintegrating very slowly into the coral reef and getting covered with the tide. white crabs were running around, jumping into their carefully built homes. the high tide was taking over the place. anemones' tentacles were slowly becoming alive and showing their dynamics vibrantly. at 9:18 when we finished the walk. the tide covered the coral reef. a new regeneration process has started and the whole place was filled with harmony.