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Attention! Porpoise | Arszyn Amplificador 5

Bluetooth installation/performance/lecture/workshop, Baltic Sea Cultural Centre in Gdansk,

18.06 – 30.06.2010




Wireless Bluetooth transmitter installed in The Old Town Hall in Gdańsk will enable people within its coverage to connect to it with their mobile phones. After activating Bluetooth protocol in a mobile phone, transmitter is sending to each identified device message inviting to download sound files.

During the project “Amplificador 5” short acoustic forms, namely recordings of synthetic representation of sounds emitted by porpoises will be transformed into mobile phone ringtones. They will be available in mp3 format. Short, dynamically variable acoustic events also called “click-trains” are generated by porpoises during echolocation. They perfectly serve the purpose of being the mobile phone tones that fill the audiospace so ubiquitously recently. It has to be mentioned that they will not be the real sounds of porpoises but their synthetic representation, some kind of acoustic phantom, equivalent of reality that cannot be heard.

During echolocation porpoises use frequencies beyond the range of human ear.

Software that is used for reading and analysis of acoustic data gathered by scientists has some side function. Namely, the sound synthesiser that creates synthetic acoustic events simulating sounds emitted by porpoises in the way that is audible for human ear. As far as the research project is concerned it is a side function and very often unused; from the point of view of sound artist it is very interesting or even essential.

Thanks to the courtesy of Hel Marine Station,  the use of these synthetic recordings became possible in the field of artistic activity.The Marine Station made available recordings of synthesised “click-trains” from different periods of work of porpoise detectors. It has to be stressed that recording of the presence of porpoise is a very rare event. Many people professionally dealing with porpoises never actually saw live porpoise. It is very sensitive and shy animal and avoids contact with humans.

The main event of the “Amplificador 5” project will be the performance with the use of mobile phones equipped with aforementioned sounds. A group of performers invited to participate in preparatory and workshop activities will equip their mobiles with especially prepared set of ring tones. The task of performers will be an appropriate exposition of phones so that the sounds are audible. Creatively using their phones, the performers will produce a kind of improvised composition in the public space of the city. Dynamic, electroacoustic structure will be created that will interfere with atmosphere of the city. Synthetic sounds generated from digital data recorded in the depths of Baltic Sea will become a metaphor for another, fascinating but alien world of animals. In this case, the world in which the main medium is specifically used sound. I also hope that these sounds left in the mobile phones will be used as extraordinary mobile ringtones.

The lecture and presentation on porpoises and methods of their protection will be very important element of the whole event. It will ensure that the workshop activity is met with appropriate reception from public and participants.


LECTURE : SMALL CETACEAN – BIG PROBLEM, 3.30 pm, Prof. Krzysztof Skóra, Hel Marine Station IO UG


The project is funded by The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage




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