Vanishing Soundscapes was first conceived as a performance, which took place at Harvard Graduate School of Design. I have obtained the sound
data from Cornell Lab of Ornithology of the 48 different bird species in the vicinities of Harvard Yard. In addition, I have composed a soundscape for each bird and designed a set of playing cards. Vanishing soundscapes is an acoustic performance, where people are asked to select a card, scan it through
an app on their cell phones and play the audio file. By using John Cage’s chance operations a random soundscape is generated. This project enables the urbanites to enter into dialogue with their environment by creating a meditative site, where one can pause, immerse, reflect and become more conscious.
The second iteration of Vanishing Soundscapes was a public art sound installation at Harvard Yard, part of Harvard Arts First Festival.
The installation was comprised of four channels mounted on the branches of a pine tree, speakers that were made ‘invisible’. Each channel was programmed to play bird samples in a random order (using raspberry pi). In addition the space was activated via banana fiber stools placed on the grass, inviting people to immerse themselves in the environment. Three acrylic bird feeders were attached on the surrounding trees. The feeders housed sets of playing cards, alluring the passerby to execute a sound performance by themselves, by downloading an app and playing the bird sound compositions, hence themselves becoming a bird.
In its third iteration Vanishing Soundscapes would like to go to the digital realm.
Inspired by posthumanist and feminist thinkers as Rosi Braidotti, Karen Barad, Donna Haraway, among others, I would like to write an essay contextualizing and theorizing the project within this framework of thought.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (December 2019)