Vocalization Notes- Whale Episode 1, 2015

Sound and drawing installation activated with a performative gesture.

Created for the exhibition "The Inner Accoustic" with Brandon LaBelle, Ricarda Denzer, Annette LeFort and Imogen Stidworthy at Errant Bodies, Berlin, January 2015, as part of the Voice Observatory.



Sound: 11 min.
Notation Drawing light by slide projector

Performance Drawing a Line of Attention by Ines Lechleitner


Detail of the notation drawing Vocalization Notes - Whale Episode 1

Vocalization Notes – Whale Episode 1 is the first part of a series of four manifestations based on recordings made by Ines Lechleitner from analogue tapes in the sound archive of the Whitehead Laboratory of Marine Biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.
The artist was an external researcher and took part in a survey expedition on Bottlenose whales in the Northern Atlantic.

Each part of the series Vocalization Notes focuses on an accoustic encounter with a specific group of whales or a single individual.
In Whale Episode 1 this is the female Humpback whale Meg, recorded and commented by the marine biologists Hal Whitehead and Linda Weilgart.
We hear the comments of the two researchers in response to each vocalization of the whale. In addition, the researchers report all changes in the recording settings, the location and changes in the overall set up. The animal seems to be in a distressed situation and the researchers’ aim is to read and understand her reactions and survey her state.

The drawing is the artist’s notation of the sound piece and was completed in the performance Drawing a Line of Attention during the opening night of the exhibition. In the performance the artist traces her focus of attention while listening to and navigating between the two voices – one above and one below the surface of the sea.


excerpt of the sound piece (0.58min)

Drawing a Line of Attention, performance, in "The Inner Accoustic", Errant Bodies, Berlin, DE (photograph by Brandon LaBelle)

Notation drawing Vocalization Notes - Whale Episode 1, for magnification click two times on the image

Vocalization Notes - Whale Episdoe 1, installation view in "The Inner Accoustic", Errant Bodies, Berlin DE