Invisible Dust

London | Tuesday 15 October
Pollution level: Moderate

Jeremy Deller 2012

Bats in Space 3-13 July 2012

Bats in Space, how bats see, hear and feel their way around.

Jeremy Deller’s bat walks took place 3-13th July 2012. The walks enabled the audience to listen and see the incredible sounds of bats flying around the Olympic Site, through mobiles, tablets and special microphones.

During the project,  daily updates were received from those on the bat walks. When bats were found their calls were inserted onto the map above.  The map was constantly updated with sightings from our guided bat walks along the Greenway, in East London.

– By clicking on the marks you can see information on the bats and hear a sample of their calls.

Jeremy Deller was collaborating with bat scientist and chair of the Bat Conservation Trust Kate Jones who gave advice and bat facts during the walks. The audience was provided with bat detectors, mobiles and tablets to lower the high frequency calls to within human hearing and to see visuals of the bat sounds as they hunt insects and navigate around the Olympics perimeter. Bats make different calls for socialising, navigating and hunting insects, with different species using different frequencies to detect their favourite prey.

At the launch on 2nd July, the Sussex Bat Hospital brought some captive bats (which are being looked after due to being injured) for people at the opening to see and understand more about these wonderful creatures.

Jeremy Deller plays vinyl bat sounds, ‘Bats in Space’ opening, photo Daniel Thomas


Jeremy Deller played his vinyl recording of bat sounds from the same caves in Texas that were featured both in his Turner Prize winning film Memory Bucket (2004) and the 3D film installation ‘Exodus’ shown at the Hayward Gallery in May 2012. Professor Kate Jones spoke about bat echolocation and played sonographs to demonstrate the different ways bats communicate and understand their surroundings. Curator and Alice Sharp gave an introduction to the project and spoke about how new technology gives us different ways of understanding biodiversity and some of the effects of Climate Change.

The spectrograms below are a visual representation of different bat calls.

All sounds and images provided by Prof. Kate Jones (UCL)

Jeremy Deller says he likes bats because “they can co-exist pretty peacefully with each other”. “It’s incredible to live as close to other mammals. We can’t do it”. Deller’s “professional” relationship with bats began in 2007 with bat house design competition to encourage different species to live and raise their families communally.


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Bats in Space was an accredited ‘Meet the Species‘ event, part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad