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Storm Riders

A virtual reality exploration of skating, expression, freedom, faith and feminism. An unlikely friendship and creative collaboration is struck between Australian artist and ex-pro skater Shaun Gladwell and two female Muslim skateboarders.


CLIENT: Badfaith VR
DATE: [post_published]

Light and sound pollution from our 24-hour urban lifestyle affects birds, who are singing earlier, louder, for longer, or at a higher pitch to communicate. But only those species that adapt survive. Machine Auguries questions how the city might sound with changing, homogenising, or diminishing bird populations. Aurelia worked with Daisy Ginsberg to conceive and sound design a multi-speaker installation which condenses a dawn chorus from 90 mins to 10 mins.  During the piece a natural dawn chorus is taken over by artificial birds, their calls generated using machine learning. Solo recordings of chiffchaffs, great tits, redstarts, robins, thrushes, and entire dawn choruses were used to train two neural networks, pitted against each other to sing (a Generative Adversarial Network, or GAN). Reflecting on how birds develop their song from each other, a call and response of real and artificial birds spatialise the evolution of a new language. Samples taken from each stage in the GAN’s training revealing the artificial birds’ growing lifelikeness.

“An unexpected meeting with Chadnee served as the inspiration and starting point for this project, which explores the concepts of faith, freedom and feminism in a completely new way. Together, we travelled across London’s skate parks and all the way back to Sydney’s Bondi Beach to reimagine Storm Sequence as a truly 360° immersive documentary.”