Queensland Australia Series

Birding the Future

Stereoscope

Australia Goes Purple

Australia Goes Purple

Projecting the Future

Projecting the Future

Installation site – Central Queensland University, Noosa campus

Birding the Future

Birding the Future

Fragmented Landscapes

Fragmented Landscapes

Computer brain

Computer brain interface

Sound engine component

At the Edge of Human Hearing

At the Edge of Human Hearing

Trading the Endangered

Trading the Endangered

Loudspeaker enclosure

Loudspeaker enclosure

Loudspeaker enclosure

Stereoscope

The Politics of Extinction

The Politics of Extinction

Dreaming of Feathers

Dreaming of Feathers

Swift Parrot

The first iteration of Birding the Future was installed at the Balance-Unbalance International Conference in Noosa, Queensland, Australia, May 31 – June 2, 2013. The exhibition site was a three-level outdoor stairwell at the Central Queensland University campus building. Directionality and level of the sound output created a sonic overlap with calls from local birds, extending the auditory and visual perimeter so that participants were drawn towards the surrounding environment. Projected rate of extinction for the Queensland region was scaled down to the duration of the exhibition period by decreasing the density and diversity of bird calls. The sound material included calls of 12 extinct and 16 endangered species particular to Queensland, such as the Eastern Bristlebird, Cook's Petrel, Hutton's Shearwater and Grey-headed Albatross.

A series of 12 stereoscopic cards offered a loose narration through the soundscape described above. The back of the cards included textual analysis such as poetry, statistical data and other relevant habitat and behavioral information. The images on the front layered original content with found photographs. Using a variety of techniques these composites explore the current status of birds both globally and locally. Images from sources such as Google Earth, Ebay, NPR, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, and Museum Victoria were utilized. Utilizing a type of stereoscope that resembles birding binoculars, this viewing instrument has been chosen for its potential to heighten perceptual awareness and provide a historical link to human impact on the environment.

For the Queensland Series a sculptural Paradise Parrot (Psephotus pulcherrimus) was created to serve as a type of anchor in the final photographs. This extinct bird formally occurred in Queensland, and was last observed in 1928. In describing an encounter with this beautiful parrot, Cyril Henry Harvey Jerrard wrote

...The vivifying sound was the well-known ‘qui-vive’ note of the male Paradise Parrot. He was in a tree close to me, but I could not see him till, after a few minutes of breathless waiting on my part, he dropped to the fence just behind the nest and, after another challenging note or two, alighted in all his glory on the nest mound itself. It was one of the supreme moments of my life...

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