Campoli Presti's first edition of Logbook is dedicated to the work of Nora Schultz. Whale Watch proposes a new reading of two video works recently shown at Secession, Vienna, together with a text written by the artist. Whale Watch (2019) documents a whale spotting boat trip on the eastern coast of the USA around Boston while Simulated Whale Watch (2019) was filmed with a GoPro camera in the artist’s studio and based on a script, without controlling the final result. The works renew their meaning in a context where distance, simulation, and a constructed idea of nature are prevailing.
Sound travels through water quicker than air. This is just a reminder for me because it’s important for the whales.
Whales echo-locate, they detect an object with their voice. The enclosed whale ear, invisible to the outside, is important for balance and orientation. It’s surround sound. That’s why the whale ear is a perfect sculpture locator.
This makes the whale the perfect collaborator. Whales could help detect sculptures, and whatever else is there. They can also adjust their voice to the octave of their interlocutor. This is also a proposal for conversation.
A whale watch:
There’s cash only at the cafe, and whale spotting will be guaranteed. We will hear that whales break away from the coast, that they can travel incredible distances and that we don’t even know where they are during the winter. It’s kind of a mystery, the guide says, they can even swim backwards.
But after cruising in the ocean for some time and looking out for them, the whales will reveal a tiny bit of their enormous backs from the water surface in a slow movement, and blow a stream into the air, before they dive down again. Because whales are like icebergs, they’re mostly underwater.