Tell It To The Birds

Last edited by The Cultural Pr... on 8 October 2023

Venue, Timing and Cost

Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Monday, 2 October 2023 to Saturday, 2 December 2023
10:00 - 17:00
Drop-in | FREE

With this sound art installation, you are invited to confess a secret into a lichen-scented hemisphere. Custom software then live "translates" your words into birdsong for all to hear — yet only you know the meaning of your song.
Birds sing to communicate with each other; we can only imagine what their subjective experiences of their songs might be. Although, birdsong is not intended for humans, it has long fascinated us, inspiring musicians like Vivaldi, Beethoven, Pink Floyd and Kate Bush to ‘quote’ birds in their compositions.

Tell it to the Birds attempts to bridge the experiential gap between human and non-human animal minds. You are invited to confess, into a forest-scented lichen sphere, something to the natural world that you feel other people or the human world might not understand. Custom software live “translates” your words into birdsong, heard both inside and outside the artwork — yet only you know the meaning of your song.

Despite the important role birds play in our environment and in popular culture, they are being pushed to the edge by human expansion. Ecological threats such as habitat loss, oil and gas development, and climate change now threaten 12% of birds worldwide. Tell it to the Birds features the songs of eleven species on the British Birds of Concern Conservation List.

Jenny Kendler is an interdisciplinary ecological artist, environmental activist, naturalist and wild forager whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at museums, biennials, public spaces and natural areas. For the past two decades her work has focused on climate change and biodiversity loss.

Further Information

Contact Details: 

Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, OX1 3PW

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