Suomenlinna Ornithological Society

Categories: Concettuale
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Published on: 29 July 2009

logoAt the core of “Suomenlinna Ornithological Society” is the invention of new bird species with electronic birdsongs. The concrete sources of these birdsongs are samples taken from a Suomenlinna museum film about the history of the island. Explosions, cannonball whistles, and grisly vocal narrations are re-shaped into the rhythms, timbres and frequencies of birdsong. This transformation references the Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP), a supposedly paranormal occurrence where voices of the dead are heard via electronic technology.

The project has thus far been realized in three different forms:

  1. The Society’s Website archives the invented bird species as well as a number of real species found in Finland. A curious presence can also be detected by the inquisitive visitor.
  2. An “electro concrète” remix of the archive was commissioned by MUU Gallery for their net radio series Audio Autographs. This is an excerpt from the upcoming full-length album titled Ghost Cycle~, to be released under the moniker Suomenlinna Ornithological Society.
  3. Three small audio devices were created with the Arduino board + Waveshield by Adafruit Industries. These devices were placed in trees and gun shafts in the environment, playing the artificial birdsongs.

Project by Blake Carrington
Blake Carrington is an artist based in New York, exploring the interstices of geography and phenomenology. He recently completed residencies at HIAP in Helsinki and Atlantic Center for the Arts with Carsten Nicolai, and received an MFA in the Department of Transmedia at Syracuse University. With his two collaborators in the artist group Avalanche Collective, he co-founded Urban Video Project, a public arts initiative that used the post-industrial landscape of Syracuse as context for multimedia projections. Before coming to New York he lived in Japan for two years, working for the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme.

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