Lunar maria (plural) Latin for “seas”, are the largest topographic features of the moon predominantly found on the lunar surface on the side visible from Earth. These maria basins were believed to have formed from lava outpourings, when asteroid sized bodies struck the surface of the moon whilst the lunar crust was cooling and solidifying. Due to the impact, the surface of the crust broke and flooded the basins and low-lying regions with magma. The lunar maria are visible to the naked eye from earth, and are darker in colour due to the basalt content and iron-rich composition. In the past, astronomers misidentified them as seas but the names were retained despite their mistake.
Sound Waves of Empty Seas reimagines the lunar maria as a sonic-scape. A terrain that translates into a scoresheet, not of harmonious song but a sonic abstraction of patterns and craters found in these maria basins. Sound is absent in space, hence it is paradoxical for a soundscape of the moon. It is also contradictory to find ‘waves’ from a barren ‘sea’. The work however, invites viewers to reconsider how we experience the moon. We see it from afar with our instruments, we learn about it from scientific texts that undergo constant re-positioning.
In that sense, do we truly understand? Long before words and language were invented, humans understood their landscape through the use of senses. If the idea of wind howling through a forest personifies the physical landscape, then perhaps the moon is meant to be heard. We construe our own meanings to the landscape and build upon these foundations, continuously inventing new associations as we go along.
Melissa Tan – Adaptation
17 Jan - 09 Feb 2019
101 Desker Rd,
Tue - Sun, 11am - 07pm