Understanding A Whale Fall/Whale Watch

2010, Adobe Books Backroom Gallery

Understanding A Whale Fall and Whale Watch was a two part installation created for Adobe Books, a bookstore and gallery in San Francisco. Taking up the back gallery, front windows, and popping up in books in the shelves, Whale Fall/Whale Watch moved through the entire store. The installation represented a process of inquiry, primarily into whales, with occasional tangents taken to related topics and site specific investigations. Through a process of covering found objects and painting them to look like themselves, a theatrical representation of research and its methods, the action of searching and being guided by curiosity in order to orient and understand, was made visible.

Whale Watch was in the front windows, known as the Adobe Books Parlor. As a visual and participatory project, Whale Watch echoed the act of searching and orienting present in the process of Understanding A Whale Fall by concentrating on the act of observing. By bringing a focus onto the surrounding neighborhood, Whale Watch wove aspects of the current environment and local history with the broader investigations conveyed in the backroom. Visitors were invited to account for their own experience and expertise in the form of records- their historical knowledge, personal narratives, book passages, advice, recommendations, recipes, hikes, etc.- in logbooks located in the bookstore shelves. Through a 'wanted' sign on displayed in the front window, this participation was invited from observers, watchers, and researchers of all kinds.

Related
Exhibition Statement
Whale Watch Walk, Closing event 
From A Sub-Sub, by Kara Q. Smith on Artslant
Watching the Act of Watching, by Keith Bowers in SF Weekly
Whale Watch- Work by Carrie Hott, Revolver SF

Whale Fall

Whale Watch

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