The Silent Cry of the Cetecean


This hypothetical/proposed artwork takes the form of a soundscape situated at the Esplanade tunnel and uses the human body as an interaction device in a public space. It brings awareness to the fact that man-made noises are polluting the acoustic environment in the oceans and harming ceteceans, i.e. whales and dolphins.

As the participant moves through the tunnel, he will hear a combination of whale sounds and two kinds of man-made sounds – military sonar and shipping noise. There will be images of pilot whales on the floor of the tunnel and of submarines/military ships and shipping vessels on the wall.

The artwork is intended to raise awareness of the plight of ceteceans who rely on their evolved biological acoustics to navigate, search for food, mate and communicate with one another, and are increasingly harmed by man-made noises from military sonar and commercial ships. Military sonar causes intense pain and haemorrhaging in the cetecean’s internal organs, and this drives them to beach themselves en masse. Shipping noise pollutes the acoustic environment of the sea which disrupts their natural mode of acoustic communication and thus harms their way of life.

The soundscape and visual panaroma are intended to provide an immersive and engaging experience. The mix of whale sounds and man-made sounds will help the audience link the idea of the two as being connected as part of the same system of cause-and-effect. The images reinforce the same idea in a visual form instead of an aural form.


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