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UAL Research Online

When Mimicry is the Last Song Left

Wright, Mark Peter (2021) When Mimicry is the Last Song Left. In: OSEH Environmental Lunchtime Discussion series, 19 May 2021, Oslo School of Environmental Humanities.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Wright, Mark Peter

What messages are coded through the nonhuman voice? How do animals witness, record, and replay the sounds of anthropogenic incursion? How might their calls pluralize human narratives of extinction and biodiversity loss? This talk considers bird mimicry as an agential and unsettling sonic facsimile, sent live and direct from The Field.

Nonhuman voices are often associated with notions of a “great animal orchestra”. Howls, calls, and songs, heard through traditions of soundscape studies and acoustic ecology, are studied through musical filters that remain suspiciously human. Western centric obsessions with tone and harmony further transpose animal agency into scalable models or representations, guided by a privilege towards the virtuoso songster or collaborative chorus. What else might lurk beyond the triangulation of birdsong, music, and science? What performative utterances might glitch these constructed naturalisms and what are the consequent strains for listening and learning?

In this talk Mark Peter Wright will present three examples of bird mimicry that transmit extra-linguistic commentary on anthropogenic climate change. He will amplify the political ecology of nonhuman sound by interlacing issues of expertise, witnessing, and the responsibilities embroiled in multi-sited fieldwork.

Official Website: https://www.hf.uio.no/english/research/strategic-research-areas/oseh/news-and-events/events/lunchtime-discussions/when-mimicry-is-the-last-song-left.html
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Research Centres/Networks > Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP)
Date: 19 May 2021
Event Location: Oslo School of Environmental Humanities
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2022 10:19
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2022 10:19
Item ID: 18529
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/18529

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