Whales with Sonar Interruption

This piece is a projected transcription of humpback whale vocalizations. It is based on research being conducted at Cornell on the question of whether whales can adapt to human disruptions of their sonic environment. Spectograms of the whale calls were transcribed and laser-cut into the tape that spools through the analogue projection device. The whale calls are periodically interrupted by sonar signals from a nearby research vessel. I see this work as exploring the interactions between animal communication, which is analogue and slow to adapt, and human communication, which is increasingly digitized and intrusive. Media: Tyvek tape, slide projector, wooden spools, motor and motor controller, pulley, digital sound files courtesy of Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bioacoustics Research Program. 2013.