The Whale Hunt

My Brother Jon launched a new project today entitled “The Whale Hunt.” Last May Jon traveled to Barrow, Alaska for nine days to document a traditional Inupiat whale hunt with photographs taken at five minute intervals (3,214 in all).

An excerpt from Jon’s statement:
In May 2007, I spent nine days living with a family of Inupiat Eskimos in Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost settlement in the United States. The first several days were spent in the village of Barrow, exploring ramshackle structures, buying gear, and otherwise helping the whaling crew to prepare for the hunt. We then traveled by snowmobile out onto the frozen Arctic Ocean, where we camped three miles from shore on thick pack ice, pitching our tents about ten feet from the open water. Boats were readied, harpoons prepared, whaling guns loaded, white tunics donned, a snow fence constructed, and then we sat silently in the -22 °F air, in constant daylight, waiting for whales to appear.

I documented the entire experience with a plodding sequence of 3,214 photographs, beginning with the taxi ride to Newark airport, and ending with the butchering of the second whale, seven days later. The photographs were taken at five-minute intervals, even while sleeping (using a chronometer), establishing a constant “photographic heartbeat”. In moments of high adrenaline, this photographic heartbeat would quicken (to a maximum rate of 37 pictures in five minutes while the first whale was being cut up), mimicking the changing pace of my own heartbeat.

All photographs copyright Jonathan Harris

This is the first photo Jon emailed us 🙂

Jon dressed in his gear – you can see the progression on the site

Beautiful

It takes a village….

This is a really beautiful project and worth a trip.

GO CHECK IT OUT

Top