Saari Residence (Kone Foundation)
[2021]











Saari Residence (Kone Foundation)

My project at the Saari Residence was based on my work across the fields and practices of biology, soundscape ecology, anthropology, bioacoustics and sound art.

What was the point?

I aimed to reveal that bioacoustic data, sound recordings and participatory art can offer a way to enact the multiplicity of relations (and limitations) between humans and non-humans as multispecies entanglement.

I did this by ‘translating information’ from one domain to another.  I aimed to show how, in disciplinary terms ‘biodiversity, ‘public art’ or ‘bioacoustics’ are inherently valuable. Still, when combined, in the context of a bio-rich, post-conflict-landscape Colombia, they can produce new relations, expertise and development opportunities.

The main product of the residency was a series of public art strategies (textual, sonic and visual) that simultaneously revealed biological, social and artistic perspectives to encourage creative dialogues and appreciations of biodiversity.

My activities were focused on two projects: (1) Bio Expedition in Anorí and (2) Cucusonic.









(1) Bio Expedition in Anorí:

The Bio Expedition in Anorí was a atural science project that had the participation of ex-combatants, community leaders and biology researchers.

One key outcome was the publication of an academic paper exploring the ethnographic and aesthetic concept behind the project, while translating scientific knowledge into the public domain (this paper was published by Leonardo at MIT Press).












(2) Cucusonic

Cucusonic is a collective of Colombian biological scientists, anthropologists and musicians who record and use bats’, birds’ and frogs’ sound signals to investigate the capacities of recording, sharing and listening to natural soundscapes to explore the transformative potential of biodiversity. I  currently act as coordinator of this multidisciplinary network.

During my residency, the idea was to translate sonic signals of different animals into a series of forest compositions.

The outcome here was the single 'Flying Bats'.






(1) Bio Expedition in Anorí:





~ Tämä teos on toteutettu Koneen Säätiön ylläpitämän Saaren kartanon taiteilija- ja tutkijaresidenssissä. ~





(2) Cucusonic

The work of Cucusonic is based on three themes:

- Soundscape ecology: we explore how sound signals can promote change in people to appreciate animals like bats or frogs as living beings with extraordinary sonic capabilities, rather than simply seeing them as despised or dangerous animals.

- Constructing an acoustic baseline of an area, while acknowledging the interdependence and benefit humans receive from nature.

- Recording ‘dialogically’: This is about recording the various ways humans have of knowing the world through environmental sounds and of working collaboratively with local people.

Flying Bats




The idea behind 'Flying Bats' is to investigate the capacities of recording, sharing and listening to soundscapes in both the sonic (<20 kHz frequencies) and ultrasonic (>20 kHz frequencies) spectrums to appreciate more-than-human entanglements.

This piece is divided into three sections. During the first 25 seconds I introduce a soundscape edited using recordings in the sonic spectrum. The track then evolves into some experimental music, created in collaboration with Carlos Restrepo using both sonic and ultrasonic noises. In the final part (from 1’40’’ onwards), I present a forest composition entirely made with ultrasonic recordings—in order to make these sounds completely audible to humans, the speed has been slowed down so that the declared sampling rate matches 44.1 kHz.

The following are some of the bat species whose ultrasonic calls are featured in this track: Eumops bonariensis, Lasiurus blossevillii, Lasiurus ega, Molossus molossus, Myotis riparius, Promops centralis and Tadarida brasiliensis.

All recordings were made in an Andean rainforest in Colombia. I thank Ana Gómez, Juan Camilo Arredondo, Danny Zurc, Rupert Cox and Jorge Medina for their kind support.

This work was done as part of the artist residency at the Saari Residence, maintained by Kone Foundation [Tämä teos on toteutettu Koneen Säätiön ylläpitämän Saaren kartanon taiteilija- ja tutkijaresidenssissä].






Bioacoustic Data





Bat sound signals appear to be divided into three phases: search, approach and terminal phase (this latter one also called ‘feeding buzz’). 













Narratives







Miguel Portura, an indigenous birdwatching naturalist guide in the Colombian Amazon (please listen to this 30-second edited version in native Tucanoan language).

You are listening to Miguel’s story of the 'potoos', a family of birds people in Colombia call 'bienparaos'. This name means 'standing properly/well'. Given that these birds perch on top of broken sticks, they appear to be 'looking at the sky'.

Miguel recently found a Rufous Potoo near his community during this Covid lockdown. This is the very first record of this species for Mitú locality, and one of the very few confirmed records of this nocturnal mega bird for the country… Miguel will be publishing a short note about this in a scientific journal soon.






Climate Change and Global Warming





Music











This work was done as part of the artist residency at the Saari Residence, maintained by Kone Foundation.
Tämä teos on toteutettu Koneen Säätiön ylläpitämän Saaren kartanon taiteilija- ja tutkijaresidenssissä.