J a e S o n g
MAIL ART: LISTEN, 2020, 15cm x 10cm x 8cm, cassette tape and player
During the lock down of the Corona virus pandemic, a cassette tape loop with a recording of me listening on one side and the call of the 52hz whale (the loneliest whale) on the other side was mailed to individuals.
The insert text:
Been feeling really lonely lately and thought of the 52hz Whale, aka the loneliest whale in the world. This poor Whale sings at 52hz where as most (Blue) Whales sing between 10-40hz. Scientists are not sure if other whales can hear his song, leaving him to roam the oceans alone for many decades, never to find love.
But what if he wanted to be alone. The more I listened to various different whale songs, the more it reminded me of visiting a Buddhist temple when I was a small child, one of the only memories of Korea I have. I remember the monks chanting together can be heard far away, the sound resonating through the forest and through my body.
Some of these monks sought out to live in isolation for many years at a time. Some lived in a tiny box, some in caves, some way up in the mountains, chanting by themselves, these prayers, for years and years without seeing a single other human being.
Maybe the 52hz whale is a Buddha whale. Maybe the song isn’t a sad lamenting cry but a joyous connection with the world.