Mark Timmings Graphics & Data

The score for “Narvaez Bay: Tidal Predictions” began as a graphic work that depicted the tide levels over the course of a year near Timmings’ home on Saturna Island. Invoking the renaissance tradition of “Augenmusik” (Eye Music), the artist produced an illustrative score, replacing traditional musical notation with iconographical elements representing sun, moon and tide.

The graphic musical score envisions information related to natural patterns in our environment that are not easily discernable to the senses. When the music is performed the singers in an act of witnessing embody the tides. This work in the context of Timmings’ artistic practice — which also includes explorations of temperature patterns and colour as well as the creation of allegorical images concerned with the Anthropocene — endeavours to contribute new perspectives on our relationship with nature.

The work is innovative in several ways: it incorporates information and data in its purview bringing together science and art — natural patterns and choral ensemble — creating a true multidisciplinary experience. Online information now suffuses all aspects of existence. In its use of data and algorithm to express natural phenomena, the work establishes correspondences between the natural sublime and technological sublime. The work is radically open ended. The algorithm that has been developed can be applied to any tide table anywhere at any time. The work in its very being is contingent, variable, potentially infinite.