Louise K Wilson: Contest Behaviour

Performance: Friday 22nd June | 9.30pm – 10pm | Tinside Lido, Plymouth Hoe
Installation: Saturday 23rd - Sunday 24th June | 10am-6pm | Tinside Lido, Plymouth Hoe

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The extraordinary newly restored Lido provides the setting to this new Expo commission. Friday evening will feature a stunning sound and light show and for Saturday and Sunday bring your bathers to experience a unique underwater sound installation revealing the hidden aquatic soundscape of Plymouth.

Contest Behaviour

Fighting Hermit CrabsThe unique physical position of Tinside Lido (built 1935), projecting into the sea and subject to strong tidal forces has prompted this work in two parts: an evening composition with illumination and a sub-aqua piece audible to swimmers.

The use of hydrophone (underwater) recordings to bring the outside into this contained volume of seawater, highlights the presence and proximity of shipping traffic and local marine life in the Sound. The territory of the Sound becomes an arena for the playing out of contest behaviour:  naval sounds vie with the aggressive repeated rapping‚ made by a hermit crab as it attempts to coerce another into an eviction during a shell fight.

Additionally, discrete activities are broadcast: such as the rasping sound created by a limpet as it grazes on microscopic algae and a ‘melodic’ tank of dogfish in a feeding frenzy. Contest Behaviour also acknowledges the presence of anomalous sounds (tagged ‘babbling brook’, ‘frying fat’, ‘laughing man’ and so on) picked up by an array of hydrophones on a submarine. These have been gathered from places the Plymouth-based Naval vessels travel to (data supplied by Qinetiq and the Royal Navy).

“My work explores perceptual and cultural aspects of science and technology. Processes of research are central to this practice and I frequently work with individuals from industry, museums, medicine and scientific research. My practice typically involves an immersive process. Some video and audio pieces have sprung from a curiosity about how the technology of flight affects our physiological states and psychological selves. To this end I have participated in a movement experiment in zero gravity, co-opted a team of air traffic controllers in formation cycling on an airport runway and been a passenger in an aerobatics plane repeatedly looping the loop. My current practice involves the examination of certain places of activity (work, leisure) through the recording and manipulation of sound. I want to touch upon the idea of recording corporeal memory and to respond to a historical era within living memory that continues to touch lives in complex ways.” (Louise K Wilson)

RunwayCentrifugeLoop the loop

(PLEASE NOTE: Contest Behaviour is free but there is a £3.45 charge to enter the Lido for a 2-hour session. To experience the installation you will need to swim in the Lido pool)

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