FLUSSER STUDIES 17 Alberto de Campo & Hannes Hoelzl and Students Varia Zoosystematica Profundorum-Experimental Studies in Deep Sea Communication
The installation Varia Zoosystematica Profundorum models a specific notion of how deep sea communication between specimens and across species might happen, inspired by the work of zoosystematicien Louis Bec and philosopher Vilem Flusser. The video of the installation featured here, is documentary of the version of the installation shown at the Singuhr Hörgalerie, Großer Wasserspeicher in Berlin, during the SuperCollider conference in Berlin in 2010. 1 Developed over the course of the semester
... e of the semester at the University of Arts (UdK) Berlin, the installation was based on the following premises: recent biological research shows that fish communicate much more by sounds than was previously assumed-for example, the catfish hunts by driving its prey into specific areas by making loud sounds. Marine mammals such as whales and probably dolphins are known to communicate acoustically over large distances; by comparison, very little is known about communication in the deep sea. From ca. 700m below the surface, the sea is completely dark, the only light sources are animals generating light by bioluminescence. As sound carries very well in water, it is plausible to assume that much deep sea communication is acoustic. Some species like the fawn cusk-eel (Lepophidium profundorum) are known to develop special muscles for making sounds during mating season, and some fish are known to make sounds by grinding their teeth; more unknown means of sound production are to be expected.) developed models for Deep Sea communication, inspired by the work of Louis Bec and Vilem Flusser: A number of agents simulate aspects of the communicative behavior of different deep sea creatures. They transmit symbols ("letters") to each other which each individual assembles into longer chains 1 Singuhr Hörgalerie (Großer Wasserspeicher) is one of the most spectacular sites for presenting sound art works in Berlin. It is a former water reservoir for the city, built into an artificial hill, with a diameter of 40m, and five concentric rings of brick walls to hold the pressure from the water contained. The architecture is quite striking: it consists of 6m high circular corridors with vaulted ceilings, no daylight (except for an entrance cut into the hill later on), and it is highly reverberant (ca. 18 seconds reverb time overall, and more at lower frequencies).