The shipping industry and the storage industry share more than just containers in common. They are both physical manifestation of modern global consumerism and they both hide the materials they carry. While transporting the goods (which may even end up in a storage unit) shipping causes harm to marine life; a part of our environment we cannot see and thus forget exists, much like what we put in a storage container. It is time to think critically about how we transport and store our stuff.
Whales on the coasts of North America are dying at an increasing rate year over year despite the efforts of conservation groups. Noise pollution from container ships, drilling, and other acts of commerce contribute to the death count by disrupting whales ability to communicate. Whales use sound waves to communicate underwater over vast distances to find each other and warn of threats. The noise of capitalism makes it difficult for whales to find food, friends or direction. In some cases, the volume is so deafening that they become completely disoriented and are unable to avoid being hit by ships. This piece is meant to demonstrate in an immersive way one of the challenges experienced by one sea mammal, the whale, to feed our consumer desires.
The audio in the artwork is from hydrophones placed in the Straight of Georgia to capture the sounds of whale and container ships. This piece directly explores two of the “Seven Ds” of the storage industry: Deliveries (the container ships) and Death (not of people, but whales). Indirectly the piece examines the Densification of shipping, the Dislocation of marine species, and the ongoing Disaster occurring to the oceans due to materialism and consumption.