Sea Level Rise

The “Metered Tide” video manifests 120 years of sea water level data in the site where that data was originally collected. The data is manifested as music, and also in the way the video was edited.

Sea water level data from 1900 to 2019 shows a sea water level increase in San Francisco of almost half a meter. During that time, tides and complex climate events like El Niño created dramatic fluctuations as well. Chris Chafe’s cello music builds on these changes, translating about 120 years of data into 4 and half minutes of music.

The video shows Chris playing that music on his celletto near the site in San Francisco where sea water levels are measured. The sea water level data governs the video edit as well. Each cut in Chris Chafe’s performance, from one camera to another, marks a major shift in flood and storm patterns, based on a statistical analysis of the data. A data overlay over the video shows the spectrum analysis of Chafe’s music, aligned with the ocean’s horizon.

Collaborators: Chris Chafe, Gregory Niemeyer