Pulse Installation

These abstract drawings investigate the sound of a blue whale through repetitive mark making. The slow, throbbing sound-vibrations of these mammoth creatures are evocative of fundamental rhythms, such as a beating heart, the pounding ocean or a tribal drum. I listen to the same sound clip of this whale repeatedly as I draw. The whale sounds like a foghorn under the sea; his sound-waves penetrating through anything in its path. The call is deep, like it comes from the very depths of the ocean. It is embedded in the water and the water carries it away.

Through the meditative process of drawing, I echo this sound by deeply burnishing charcoal into the fibbers of the surface. I pared down his undulating moan into a sequence of four lines with breaths in between. The drawings echo how information becomes abstract when distilled to its essential elements: how verbal communication becomes an arrangement of raw sound and written language, a collection of scratchy marks.

The surfaces are pages recycled from an old encyclopedia. In this way I record information (sound) over information (writing) through the palimpsest-like process of drawing. This layering creates white noise as a setting for the whale’s sounds. Before I use charcoal, I first prepare the pages with an ink wash. I do this to create a deeper, watery space between the sound and text.

My drawings transpose the blue whale’s sound into an abstract, reverberating, visual language. Through the mesmerizing process of becoming enveloped in a sound and physically responding through gesture, the drawings grow and extend the repeating pulse. These drawings enact my own instinctual desire to express and connect with a simple rhythm.

 

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