The vaulted ceiling of an elongated, cave-like room is lined with hexagonal lights that flicker and pulse with hypnotizing patterns and movements, like waves sending ripples through an aquatic hued display. All of the visual light movements in My Whale are triggered to the rhythm of whale songs playing over the speakers.
The installation was made specifically for the 9 Lights in 9 Rooms exhibition last year at the D Museum in Seoul, while the art space itself was built by the Saint Petersburg-based artist collective, Tundra. The group specializes in creating unique installations that incorporate visual as well as audio elements. Tundra estimates more than 200,000 people experienced the My Whale performance during the period of the exhibition.
My Whale is actually a revised version of a previous iteration of the same name that Tundra created on a renovated ship in Moscow. The first My Whale installation was a site-specific piece put up in the control room because of its panoramic windows. The collective compares the experience to being inside the head of a giant whale, “Looking through its eyes, listening to its songs that flow across the brain made of hexagonal cells.” In the original version of the installation, the hexagonal lights were installed on the ceiling alone, whereas in the new piece, the lights wrap around each wall of the space. The floor of the revised My Whale space has a glossy reflective surface that creates this hall of mirrors illusion, making the immersive experience that much better. Experience My Whale in action, below:
Check out more work by the Tundra collective on their website.