52 Hertz Whale

July 12 - August 11, 2019

1265 E. 13 Th Street, Chattanooga, TN, 37408

Curatorial Brief

Traveling up and down the California coast, sometimes within earshot of biologists’ instruments, but equally as often not, swims a mysterious mammal. The 52 Hertz Whale is a peculiar creature; it is an anomaly plopped down across the taxonomic framework established by human experts. Whales, all whales, call into the depths at low frequencies, somewhere between 10 and 39 hertz. Their calls alert them to the presence of food, aid in defining their spatial surroundings, and enable communication between individuals and groups. But this whale and its song are different. The 52 Hertz Whale produces its idiosyncratic namesake tones out there beneath the waves, but it travels alone and presumably has only the ocean itself as audience.

Admittedly, this behavior is not the norm but its interpretation by experts underscores the human tendency to pathologize difference. Scientists speculate, due to its unorthodox song, that the whale could be malformed or suffering from some other morphological aberration. Maybe though, the experts have it all wrong. Maybe it intentionally avoids the information-seins of those scientists, maybe its shadowy-ness is by design, maybe the 52 Hertz Whale isn’t lonely at all, and maybe, just maybe, the 52 Hertz Whale just prefers being the 52 Hertz Whale.


Bethany Springer, Brianna Rigg, Christine Rebhuhn, Christy Singleton, Hannah Walsh, Kayla Green, Mia Liana Garcia, Mika Agari, Sara-Anne Waggoner, Skye Gilkerson, SLINKO, Stephanie Loggans, Vabianna Santos


52 Hertz Whale will be traveling to C For Courtside in Knoxville after it closes in Chattanooga. The show in Knoxville will run from September 6th - September 27th.

C for Courtside is an artist-run curatorial project space located just north of downtown Knoxville. Founded in the fall of 2017 with the intentions of facilitating multiple creative activities, the Directors (Eleanor Aldrich, Joshua Bienko, Eric Cagley, Lynne Ghenov, John Powers) will work to add to the exciting artistic development and momentum already at foot in the Southeast. In addition to exhibitions, C for Courtside will host artist lectures and guest speakers, live performances, pop-up shows, experimental theatre, justice seeking organizations in need of a place to meet, and other situationist aligned activities. Each endeavor will aim to extend the space of the gallery beyond its physical limitations, while fostering a community based in and on the exigencies of art-making. The launch and operation of the space has been made possible in part by the support of an Ann and Steve Bailey Opportunity Grant.