Hydrophone

This is the telephone kiosk beloved by the English, in a beautiful vivid red and here planted right in the middle of a reed bed. Christened, with some humour, “Hydrophone” by the landscape designers of the PIP agency, this installation which appears to float on the water at the end of a pontoon is in fact an observation hide for listening to the aquatic world. Via its ”directory”, it hopes to encourage the return of water insects to the Hortillonnages:  instead of Mr and Mrs Smith’s telephone numbers, the book in fact lists all the information relative to wetlands and aquatic invertebrates, species which are present but totally invisible to the naked eye. So if you pick up the receiver, you will hear the sound of this too often little known wildlife, which is particularly under threat at a time when more than 90% of land is occupied by man. Only a few natural sites are actually attempting like the Hortillonnages to recreate eco-corridors to preserve these hidden species which are particularly affected by this colonisation.  An experience which is both amusing and engaging and which raises awareness of a microscopic world too often overlooked…

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