• 20 June 2023

Critical Climate Machine (Leaves Orchestra) Sounds of Debunking and Audiovisual Performance


Gaëtan Robillard and Victor Guichard

Critical Climate Machine is a research based project that quantifies and reveals the mechanisms of misinformation on global warming. Here, the exhibition consists of a sound installation and a data visualization, witnessing misleading arguments detected on Twitter with the help of a machine learning algorithm. A live data-stream performance titled Leaves Orchestra is specially featured. In the sound installation, several dialogues circulate: false arguments about climate change confront their refutations. These voices were recorded during several workshops, in the course of which a card game specially designed for the project fostered climate literacy and debate. Later, the dialogues were reinterpreted and spatialized through a generative machine learning model conceived for musical improvisation. If via cognitive sciences, computational logic helps to discern the truth, the sound piece explores new digital mediation frameworks for the climate, opening up to deliberation. Critical Climate Machine acts as a counterpoint to the determinism of technical automation, while mitigating the circulation of deceptive claims, and bringing forward the ethics of data processing.

From societal to environmental: Leaves Orchestra is a performance based on a large set of sounds highlighting ecological data resulting from scientific observations of the Amazonian forest. The data was collected by The Sustainable Amazon Network, an organization of more than 30 institutions, including Oxford University. Leaves Orchestra’s primary goal is to bring a new look at the characteristics, state and essence of natural environment, inviting the viewer to discover a hidden world of stimuli.

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