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in 2017, Jack Straw Cultural Center teamed up with Lelavision to support the group in their goals to build their largest kinetic musical sculpture. Interspecies Communication brought communities together through performances and workshops at a vast range of venues including Vashon Strawberry Festival, Arts in Nature Festival, Burning Man, Vashon Schools, and Duwamish Waterway Park. During the course of these events, around 80,000 people witnessed and/or interacted with Lelavision members and Interspecies Communication – a sculpture, conceived and built by Ela, of a starling with movable wings, flying over a truck-bed whale. Visitors were able to to climb up the whale-tail ramp and pull the strap to send the bird flying.
Like all Lelavision projects, Interspecies Communication combined the eye- and ear-popping kinetic musical sculptures of Ela Lamblin with the visual feast of choreography and community collaboration created by Leah Mann. Inspired by the flocking behaviors of birds and other species, the show utilized sculpture, music, and dance to facilitate synchronized action through a performative ritual or game that took its cue from murmurations and swarms where the localized sharing of information between individuals can spontaneously generate forms that arise from collective behavior – such as the swirls of migrating starlings, or whirlpool-like toruses of mackerel. Jack Straw Cultural Center and Lelavision worked together through the city’s Arts in Parks program to bring this project to life. Community collaborators for this project included Urmilla Nagar, classical Indian dancer and musician; Manuiki Lono, Halau Hula ‘O Lono master teacher; and Soyinka Rahim, dancer, singer, musician and InterPlay Race Dance facilitator. Here you can watch a video by Ela Lamblin featuring appearances in Phoenix (Lost Lake Festival), Seattle (Duwamish Park), and Black Rock City (Burning Man).
This project was made possible by the support of Black Rock Arts Foundation, 4Culture and Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Arts in Parks Program