Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The 6th of The 13th Grape Series- "Apologies to the Sea"

The 6th edition of the 13th Grape subscription is finally on its way.

Meaning and use

The multiple "Apologies to the Sea" was conceived of while I was working at the Georgia Aquarium on the dolphin encounter tanks. We were demoing and redoing some of the concrete rock work around the pools and every evening our chipping hammers would terrify the dolphins in the tanks sending them into frenzied jumping and swimming. My time there allowed me to observe the dolphins every night very closely and it bothered me that these animals, however briefly, had their homes invaded and their comfort level challenged. I collected fragments of the demoed rocks and then developed the piece around them.
There are two fragments of the concrete in each piece each with a small resin ear glued to it.
Under each fragment is a stencil of a duck or a drake. The recipient is meant to choose the piece of concrete (duck if female and drake if male) and at the next opportunity, when at the ocean shore, skip the fragment on the water with a toss attempting to get as many skips as possible. Take note of the number of skips. Speak an apology to the ocean the same number of times as the fragment skipped into the ear of the remaining fragment.

The game of Ducks and Drakes is a very old human activity and is also associated with wastefulness. Wealthy players used to often use coins to play with essentially "throwing away money". I draw a parallel with our treatment of the environment.

The other symbols of interest here is the dolphin's echo location sense (which I am sure we rattled terribly with our chipping hammers) which appears as a stencil on the envelope. This contrasts the legend that a duck's quack (or a drake's quack) produces no echo.