Resonant Disintegration is an interactive multimedia installation that presents an immersive space for viewers to reflect on their relationships to local marine life in the context of climate change. A life-size form of an adolescent female orca is suspended at eye level in a gallery space, inviting viewers to approach and physically engage with the sculpture. The metal whale is corroded from having been fully immersed in the Salish Sea, a performative gesture which connects the material to this specific body of water. The sculpture is a representation of Kiki (J-53), one of the youngest female orcas of J-pod. The Southern Resident Killer Whales are iconic within the settler and indigenous communities surrounding the Salish Sea, but they are in a state of decline resulting from cumulative habitat degradation and impacts from climate change. Resonant Disintegration fosters a complex emotional space where viewers can gather to be present with compassionate meditations on our shared future.
A speaker contained inside of the sculpture plays recordings of noise pollution from freight vessels passing through the Salish Sea. These vibrations reverberate through the hollow sculpture, and are recorded by a contact mic attached to the metal surface. A programmatically modulated feedback loop causes the sculpture to emanate its own visceral sounds, which reflects the complex vocalizations of cetaceans. As viewers physically interact with the sculpture, they send vibrations through the material which resonate through the inherent frequencies of the object. The orca is surrounded by a projection of regional climate data, visualizations of local temperature and precipitation values for the remainder of the century. The movements of viewers in the gallery space and their proximity to the sculpture are recorded by a motion sensor, which is used to modulate background sounds and the pace of the data visualization. Blending creative practices of welding, sound art, and generative visualization, Resonant Disintegration is an innovative contemporary artwork that is highly accessible and rooted in concerns of communities surrounding the Salish Sea.
Data Sources: Ocean Networks Canada, CCCma