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birds echo songs of protest for freedom and equality in haunting sound installation

from bogota to belarus, birds chant songs of protest

 

In a new sound installationAmsterdam-based artist Lotte Geeven mediates the relationship between humans and their environment through soundbites captured from protests around the world. Listening in on momentous chants in public squares and their dissolving aftermaths after rioters had been swept away, Geeven considered whether these loud historical events would leave an imprint on their acoustic ecosystem. Compiling her findings in Echo Chant, she unveils a reverberation of calls for justice from the most unexpected source — local birds overlooking the events. From a parrot shouting for freedom in Hong Kong to a thrasher advocating for equality in a Black Lives Matter rally in Minneapolis, Geeven showcases these murmuring songs of protest in a dark exhibition space emanating haunting sound through a ring of vinyl turntables

birds echo songs of protest for freedom and equality in haunting sound installation
twelve records of protests around the world witnessed by birds | all images courtesy Lotte Geeven

 

 

echo chant: a sound installation by lotte geeven

 

Applying methods of audio forensics, Lotte Geeven investigated these sonic territories in an in-depth process. Finding little results of significance at first, eventually, the recordings of human protests uncovered distinctive mutterings of a small bird by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. ‘This song thrush was whistling perfectly in sync with the Yellow Vest movement that had been protesting in his territory for months in a row,’ writes Geeven. Soon after, the sound artist began to search for more winged allies of the people’s voice, picking up repetitive songs of their repertoire.

 

The findings were exhibited in Lotte Geeven’s Echo Chant installation, comprising twelve vinyl recordings set in motion by automatic turntables. In a dark room, the calls of historical demonstrations and bird songs play out and bleed into each other. At the end of the composition, all human sounds vanish, leaving remnants of a haunting chorus echo from the bird beaks. From Bogota to Belarus, birds collectively continue our calls for justice. 

birds echo songs of protest for freedom and equality in haunting sound installation
the sound installation illuminates a dark exhibition room

birds echo songs of protest for freedom and equality in haunting sound installation
vinyl recordings set in motion by automatic turntables play the bird songs

 

birds echo songs of protest for freedom and equality in haunting sound installation
Lotte Geeven applied methods of audio forensics to capture and compile the soundbites

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birds echo songs of protest for freedom and equality in haunting sound installation
African Grey Parrot echoes protests at Mong Kok Birdmarket in Hong Kong

birds copy songs of protest 4
the artist listened in on momentous chants in public squares and their dissolving aftermaths

lotte-geeven-ech-chant-designboom-1

 

project info:

 

name: Echo Chant
designer: Lotte Geeven

location: Arnhem, Netherlands

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions’ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: ravail khan | designboom

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