Art-Science Lab on Underwater Noise at the Venice Biennale



SATURN partner CNR-ISMAR recently developed an art-science lab titled “Boom, Crash, Wroom!” in collaboration with Interreg IT-HR project SOUNDSCAPE for teaching students about underwater noise. The interactive laboratory, targeted at primary school pupils, aims to lead participants to discover underwater radiated noise pollution and its consequences for marine organisms and ecosystems. The programme is articulated into four parts:


  1. Noise from a physics point of view: a general description of the basic concepts on sound generation and propagation in the sea, its characteristics and interactions with marine organisms;

  2. Sound, humans and animals in the marine environment: how do human activities generate underwater noise? How do organisms use sound in their lives? this section will provide a list of marine organisms that can be affected by noise, the consequences on their life cycles and on the ecosystem is also included;

  3. Practical Activity: the participants will be involved in the set up and dress of Malaysian shadow puppets. These will be used in the next activity to represent marine organisms and sources of anthropogenic noise;

  4. Performance: the participants will perform a Malaysian shadow theater play following the provided story-lines representing several noise pollution situations They will recite the different marine organisms roles with their reactions to the different noises and the disturb played by human activities.

The lab was held during the Kids Carnival organized by La Biennale di Venezia in February 2022, and was a fantastic success.


A total of 38 classes participated in the lab. The lab was also organized during the UNESCO’s Ocean and Climate Village in Venice (March 28th – April 3rd) with 97 participants (74 from primary schools and 23 from middle schools).


Take a look at some of the fantastic shadow puppet performances made by the students below, as well as some of the drawings made in the 2021 event!





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