Bird Signals Signals For Earthly Survival

By Mehmet Aslan, Glitter, Stratis Vogiazis, Malo Lacroix

Bird Signals for Earthly Survival” is an audio-visual, music performance which translates the migrating journey of birds into a contemporary comment regarding the complex environmental and refugee challenges of the current age: otherwise know as the Anthropocene. Our project originates from an old myth which suggests that migrating birds are conveying a lost language derived from an ancient human tribe. This language is translated into a form of signs in order to communicate transformations of Gaia to other animals. In the Anthropocene era, most of the Gaia ecosystems are said to be deteriorating rapidly, so we follow the journey of migrating birds in an attempt to decode the signals they are transmitting and ultimately learn the art of living on a damaged planet. Using a variety of media disciplines such as videos, photographs, soundscapes, electronic sounds and performative voices we will present a live performance that connects ecology, science and art in order to expand our awareness of the environmental challenges of today.

The pandemic has reopened the debate about what is necessary and what is possible. It has shown us that focusing on the economy is a very narrow and limiting way of organising life. A new ecological awareness is arising from the pandemic that demands a radical shift from our unsustainable way of living based on overconsumption & material gain to an active, spiritual and more sustainable way of inhabitance. What is necessary, is a new way of conceptualising our form of life, Donna Harraway says, “Beings – humans or not – to become with each other, to compose and decompose, each other, in every stake and resister of time, and stuff in sympoietic tangling, in earthly worlding, and unworlding.“ All people now living in the Anthropocene are potential environmental refugees. Many try to visualise a new way of inhabitance in Gaia; creating hybrids, entanglements and kins with animals of the non human world. Animals at this time have a stake in each other in every ridge and furrow of the earth’s compost pile.

Humans sense that for years, migrating birds have been trying to warn them of the threat of climate change, the concentration of toxic particles in the air, the CO2 emissions, the garbage’s effluvium and other environmental dysfunctions. They start learning from these migrating birds and develop symbiotic relationships with them through after realising that birds travelling throughout Gaia carry a wisdom regarding earthly survival. Cross- species interactions however require different ways of relating, specifically nonlinguistic communication such as signs and signals. Humans start developing this language of signs in order to decode what signals migrating birds were conveying to them through the sounds they make, their flight, the way of breeding and inhabiting the earth.

Produced by Arty Farty/ We Are Europe & Planisphere
Supported by Pro Helvetia, Creative Europe