Part of Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla’s work for dOCUMENTA (13), this lecture by archeologist Nicholas Conard is about the oldest musical instrument in the world: a flute from Upper Paleolithic times, unearthed at the Hohle Fels cave in southern Germany. The flute, made from the bone of a prehistoric griffon vulture, was played to a living griffon vulture in a film made by the artists. In the lecture, Professor Conard of Tübingen University elaborates on the role of music in the lives of Upper Paleolithic peoples, which seems to have improved social cohesion and new forms of communication, and which indirectly contributed to demographic expansion of modern humans relative to the culturally more conservative Neanderthal populations.
Nicholas Conard is an archaeologist specializing in Prehistory. He is best known for discovering the world's oldest artifacts in the Swabian Alb caves. He is currently Senior Professor of the Center for Human Evolution and Paleoecology at the University of Tübingen.
Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla are artists based in Puerto Rico. In 2011, they represented the United States at the Biennale di Venezia, and their solo shows include MoMA, New York (2010), National Museum of Art, Oslo (2009), the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2008), the Haus der Kunst, Munich (2008), and the Serpentine Gallery, London (2007).