Project Description

Heavy Rock’ is an exciting public art commission by Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery that aims to shed new light on Plymouth’s historic breakwater. Each year up to twelve 100-tonne concrete wave breakers are cast at Oreston Quay and then placed in strategic positions on the breakwater. The wave breakers help reinforce the fascinating breakwater structure which lies at the entrance to Plymouth Sound protecting the harbour and anchorages; almost 2km from Plymouth Hoe. Plymouth based artist Keith Harrison has intervened in the casting process of one of these blocks and has installed hydrophone sound technology inside it. Nub were brought on board to oversee the technical actualities of the project. Working directly with Keith, NUB have developed a deployment plan, custom audio relay system to get the captured audio back to shore and a fully wireless playout solution at KARST.

Utilising a range of off the shelf hardware and software technologies combined with fully custom built hydrophones, NUB deployed a ruggedised audio capture and relay solution without the cost overheads of transmission frequency licensing, power supply constraints and exposure concerns. Based around an 80W solar panel, deep cycle battery, Military grade routing/gateway hardware and CCTV components from our installation stock and wholly contained in a rugged sealed ABS plastic case. The system is able to run indefinitely for the life-span of the battery hardware (circa 3 years) should it be needed. The hydrophones were connected into this system using a 75m Kevlar reinforced umbilical cable from the concrete block itself where the two hydrophones were installed.

NUB are able to design bespoke audio visual hardware for any situation, from long term high quality audio transmission to custom system control interfaces and end user display and interaction systems.