Animal Calls is a project that invites participants to make sounds for fictional creatures in a public space. A surrounding soundscape of human-made animal calls is formed throughout the duration of the piece by collective participation efforts. By using sound as a means for engagement, this project is interested in celebrating the vulnerable human characteristics, such as playfulness, silliness, and self-expressive imaginations, that people might be shy to share publicly due to external circumstances and social expectations. Animal Calls hopes to bring out the value of embracing care and empathy by creating a space where people can feel comfortable to play and make noises freely.
Participants are asked to make "calls" for the creature of their choice. The captured sounds are then instantly played back from corresponding speakers associated with the creatures. Once a sound is recorded, it is saved into a database of animal calls accumulated by past participants. When the interaction is not happening, the collection of sounds are distributed from the database to a 7-channel surrounding audio system. Incorporated with sounds from nature, the audios create a forest-like sound space from the contributed calls.
An invitation for anyone interested in experiencing the emotional connections of this artwork at home or on zoom with friends:
1. Gather pictures of cute fantastical animals and gather around with some friends.
2. Take turns to loosen up and make noises for the animals.
3. See if you can take away connections and feelings generated from experiencing the silly activity together.