When used as a listening instrument, a glass is no longer a mere container. By amplifying sounds and voices through a surface, it becomes a conduit between two seemingly distant environments. Like a glass, aquarium walls implement a material and ontological separation between human and marine creatures, highlighting the relationship we have established over time with these living beings, transformed into taxonomical units.
In “The Aquarium is a Listening Glass”, nine short, non-linear stories – set amid scientific archives, underwater research stations, natural history museums, national aquaria and oceanic infrastructure – evoke the glass as a listening device to present singular relationships between humans and fish that would otherwise go unheard. In this paradigm shift, design plays a fundamental role in conceiving the object (and the book) as a sensory device to glimpse new forms of mediation, to generate alliances, and also to promote the potential for a thriving and vital world.

Photo: DSL Studio

Edited by Louise E. Carver, Angela Rui
Published by Humboldt Books

With texts by Tonda Budszsus, Benze De Ream, David Gruber, Eva Jack, Armin Linke, Filipa Ramos, Anton Ripon, Ache Wang
Photographs by Giovanna Silva
Illustrations by Flaminia Veronesi
Film stills by Armin Linke
Subtitles and film stills by Tonda Budzsus, Benze De Ream, Ache Wang


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