An art project investigating the connections between noise pollution, whales and dolphins living off the coast of Dunedin.

Otago’s whales need your help! Sounding investigates the connections between noise pollution, whales and dolphins living off the coast of Dunedin. Using sound and social engagement Sounding helps us navigate the problems Otago’s sea mammals are facing.
You are invited to explore two interactive exhibitions in spaces at the H D Skinner Annex Gallery at Otago Museum and at 165 George Street. Join us for workshops, performances and discussion events.

Sounding seeks to help us better understand our marine mammals’ aural environment, echo-location and sonic disruption in Otago’s oceans. It is a call to action for better management and research into the connections between noise pollution and the whales and dolphins of New Zealand. Parallels are made between land-based and ocean-based communication spaces that we can’t see.

Sounding is funded by the Dunedin City Council, Creative New Zealand and supported by Otago Museum, Otago University and Otago Polytechnic.

Sounding has been created by Dunedin’s Caro McCaw, West Coast artist Vicki Smith and Taranaki Internet-of-things enthusiast Andrew Hornblow. Together they are working with Otago University whale researcher Professor Liz Slooten, sound artist Leyton Glen, the Otago Museum team, Otago University Marine Scientists and design students from Otago Polytechnic. The performances are being choreographed by artist Katrina Thomson.



Ever wondered how a whale communicates?
Enrol in a workshop to help assemble electronically enhanced umbrellas that respond with sound when entering Dunedin’s wi-fi ‘oceans’.
Workshops are run by Internet of Things enthusiast Andrew Hornblow, and are piecing together picaxe breadboard electronics with 433Mhz radio frequency range transmitters, these are housed within an otolith (whale ear bone) construction and attaches to your umbrella.

Workshops 22, 23 September, each workshop limited to 10 places.
Book your place now. Registration details here

Performers wanted!

Join a life-sized whale performance troupe!
and perform at the Otago Museum exhibition opening (30 September) and the Vogel Street Party, or come along and watch.

Register to participate in pop-up whale performances
Or contact Katrina:

Love whales and dolphins? Find Out More!

Saturday Oct 7: Otago Museum’s Hutton Theatre


Hear from artists, scientists, and museum professionals about their varied work with our whales and dolphins. Join us for a morning of presentations, observations and conversations.

Free/gold coin
Film Screening Sonic Seas 1-2pm: followed by panel discussion 2pm

Oceans are a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life. But man-made ocean noise is threatening this fragile world. Sonic Sea is a one-hour multiple award winning documentary film about protecting life in our waters from the destructive effects of oceanic noise pollution. Watch the trailer here:
Free/gold coin

Want to help whale and dolphin research?

The NZ Whale and Dolphin Trust conduct research into the connections between whale strandings and oil exploration using sound. Sounding are collecting donations to support research at all exhibitions and events.

or donate directly at

Contact the team at

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!