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From a Whale’s Back, Yolande Harris - T.O.E. Art Market

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Original Art for sale | Limited Edition

Yolande Harris
Italy

Represented by: IPERCUBO
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From a Whale's Back
Inkjet on paper / 2020
cm 38x67
Price 2200 €
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About the artwork
From a Whale’s Back (2020) is an installation that explores the visual and sonic underwater world inhabited by whales of different species—orcas, humpbacks, and minke whales—from Antarctica to the northeastern Pacific. It uses video taken from tags used by scientists to monitor whales. From A Whale’s Back explores the latest technology for researching behavioral characteristics of whales, using tags suction-cupped to the back of the whale. Simple advances in technology (miniaturization, power, storage) are enabling collection of data in a way that begins to provide an exponentially more detailed view/image of the underwater world from the perspective of animals in it. Video cameras, combined with hydrophones and other sensors, literally allow our human eyes to dive with these animals. What we see through the camera lens, our surrogate eyes, is not exactly what or how the whale sees, yet it takes us to a place of understanding we have not been before. It opens a world to us. Viewing it, we absorb the speed, the floating relationality of other animals (comparable to antigravity in the ways it flips our physiological assumptions) and the need to breathe by breaking through the surface before diving again. At the point where the whale surfaces, we see and feel our air-breathing world, before diving below for many minutes. There is a strangeness in breaking the surface and trying to orient oneself in distance and sky, a distinct change from the closeness of the underwater world. Considering this, what are we doing peeking into their world? Knowing that technology both enables and inhibits understanding at the same time—that what we see is extraordinary and yet what we don’t see may be more important—how do we apprehend this material? How do we learn while understanding the privilege of our viewpoint? From a Whale’s Back uses video and sound taken from tags used by scientists to monitor whales. Marine Biologist Dr Ari Friedlaender collected the video data from the whale tags during his recent scientific research projects. The videos are collected under NMFS permit, using lightweight tags, skillfully placed and humanely attached with suction cups that release within twenty four hours.

About the artist
Yolande Harris is an artist and researcher exploring ideas of sonic consciousness, creating installations and performances with sound and video to create intimate and visceral experiences that heighten awareness of our relationship to the environment. Her projects consider techniques of navigation, expanding perception beyond the range of human senses, the technological mediation of underwater environments and our relationship to other species. Her projects on underwater sound aim to bring us closer to this inaccessible environment, encouraging connection, understanding and empathy with the ocean. She has exhibited at the House of World Cultures Berlin, the Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, the Institute of Contemporary Art London, the Netherlands Media Art Institute and the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Awards include stipends from the Dutch Funds for Visual Arts Architecture and Design, fellowships at the Orpheus Research Center in Music in Ghent, the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, the Jan van Eyck Academy of Visual Arts in Maastricht, and a lectureship in Interaction Design at the Technical University of Eindhoven. As Artist in Residence at the Center for Digital Art and Experimental Media at the University of Washington in Seattle, Yolande developed collaborations with the Oceanography department resulting in her graduate seminar ‘Art and Environment’. As Assistant Professor in the Film/Animation/Video Department at Rhode Island School of Design she led students through senior year graduating projects in Open Media and Video. Currently Yolande lives and works in Santa Cruz California, where she is Affiliate Faculty with the Digital Arts and New Media MFA program and Lecturer in the Art Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Yolande holds a Ph.D. ‘Scorescapes: On Sound, Environment and Sonic Consciousness’ (Leiden University 2011), an M.Phil. in Architecture and Moving Image (University of Cambridge 2000), a B.A. in Music (Dartington College of Arts 1997), and studied music and art history at Edinburgh University (1995). In addition she studied with pioneers of experimental music and sound art including Lou Harrison, Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, David Dunn, Peter Sculthorpe, Louis Andriessen and Michel Waiswisz.
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