Actress Charlotte Rampling and director David Lynch weave together the threads of Loris Gréaud’s expansive project in the Parisian-art star’s new film The Snorks: A Concert for Creatures. Thirty-six months in the making, the film takes in everything from hip hop-avantists Antipop Consortium’s concert for deep-ocean dwellers, to a pyrotechnic sculpture of fireworks in Abu Dhabi, and traces Gréaud’s voyages exploring the possibility for communication between species. Inspired by bioluminescence––or biological production of light––used by deep-sea creatures to communicate with each other, the aesthetic adventurer broadcast specially commissioned music by Antipop Consortium at a depth of 4,000 meters and elicited vibrant bursts of light from the audience of plankton, unicellular creatures and jellyfish in response. “I gave them carte blanche,” says Gréaud of working with Antipop Consortium. “The only direction really was to play the game, to imagine they playing in front of aliens.” Ahead of the 28-minute film’s premiere at MK2 Bibliothèque next week and a forthcoming world tour combining screenings with Antipop Consortium performing the concert live, Gréaud unpicks the threads making up The Snorks.
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Anne is reading …
We are late in reporting about the annual slaughter of dolphins and whales in Taiji, Japan. Basically, nothing has changed in this barbaric cruelty against some of nature’s smartest creatures — all in the name of nationalism and man’s God-given right to control nature. We add controlling women for context, believing that Taiji’s patriarchal principles represent the ultra-orthodox values of male domination that are worldwide.
In spite of massive international protests against the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, and the Academy Award winning documentary ‘The Cove’, little has changed for these splendid creatures.
First, some recent thoughts about the annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji and today’s news that at least one special white whale can imitate the voices of humans. Dolphins are known for trying to communicate with their captors.
A Whale With a Distinctly Human-Like Voice Science Daily
“Our observations suggest that the whale had to modify its vocal mechanics in order to make the speech-like sounds,” said Sam Ridgway of the National Marine Mammal Foundation. “Such obvious effort suggests motivation for contact.”
Taiji Dolphins: Marineland’s Cruelest Attraction Global Animal
Do Dophins Think Nonlinearly? Science Daily
Anne Enke’s Dolphin Writing
My maiden writing into the topic of whales was When the Subject is Women’s and Whale Rights, the Japanese Fall Far From Grace, if we don’t count my high school senior paper on the meaning of the great white whale in Moby Dick.
Whaling is a very patriarchal tradition, and the subject of their hunt — whales and dolphins — are gorgeous animals that represent female principles.
When I wrote Let’s Hope Smart Sensuality Pink Dolphins are Smart Enough to Stay Out of Japanese Waters, I was unconsciously or semi-consciously making the same point. Now I understand why folklore has it that putting a pregnant woman in the boat attracts dolphins, and also why Dave sent a video of a dolphin attending the birth of a baby.
The real challenges in getting the Japanese to change their patriarchal whaling ways, is akin to convincing the Sudanese Islamists to stop flogging women.
The clues to dolphins as ‘female’ are prolific in Greek and Roman art, and also in earlier Minoan artifacts.
Joining the Dolphin Family
All around me, I see other dolphins. I feel I am part of a family, but it’s somehow different from my terrestrial one. We are a grand and flexible family, yet I have a strong sense that our underlying bonds remain constant. I reach a huddle of mothers and calves. Seven females are clustered, forming a protective screen of bodies around a pregnant female. They swim beside and below her, waiting for the moment to arrive.
“Dolphins are sophisticated, self-aware, highly intelligent beings with individual personalities, autonomy and an inner life. They are vulnerable to tremendous suffering and psychological trauma,” says Emory University neuroscientist Lori Marino, a leading expert in the neuroanatomy of dolphins and whales
The patriarchal reality of the Taiji’s fishermen’s killing of the whales involves banging on metal poles to herd panicked dolphins into a cove, then spearing them to death in what protesters describe as a gory bloodbath. For animals with brains as large as humans and an established level of cognitive ability, this method of slaughtering dolphins is abhorrent to many.
‘The Cove’ Academy Award documentary director Ric O’Barry explains how he became a dolphin activist.