Putting Birds on It

New Arts Club of Chicago show turns urban birding data into art

Digital mock-up from The Playhead of Dawn by Brian Kirkbride & Jenny Kendler (Courtesy the artists and The Arts Club of Chicago)

The Playhead of Dawn, an exhibition by Jenny Kendler and Brian Kirkbride now up at The Arts Club of Chicago, seeks to reproduce the “global song” of birds with an installation based on a crowd-sourced dataset of bird recordings from around the world. Kendler is an interdisciplinary ecological artist and activist who works with public spaces and natural areas, while Kirkbride is a sound artist and programmer who combines data with acoustics. Together, the duo has created a 24-hour experiential sound piece that occupies the garden of the Arts Club of Chicago along an important bird migration path. The sound loop corresponds with the rotation of the earth and allows visitors to immerse themselves in the soundscape of birdsong as it would occur around the world in real time.

The Playhead of Dawn
The Arts Club of Chicago
201 E. Ontario Street
Through December 31

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