Text by CLOT Magazine
What would animals say to us if we listened to them? What might we learn about the state of our shared planet? On 19 March, FACT Liverpool launches its year of The Living Planet with the opening of a major new art exhibition, And Say the Animal Responded? The show, curated by FACT’s new Director/CEO Nicola Triscott, takes its title from philosopher Jacques Derrida’s essay of the same name, in which he challenges any clear boundary between human and animal.
At a time when we need to rethink our relationship with the planet, it is timely to consider the nature and rights of animals. Through the exhibition and a season of events and discussions running alongside, we will engage audiences in exploring animal intelligence and communication, and question the human-animal hierarchy, says Triscott.
And Say the Animal Responded? brings together the work of five international artists and artist groups, presenting visitors with face-to-face encounters with the sounds and behaviours of animals from around the planet, including film and sound-centred installations that capture the animal voice through human technology, even (using machine learning and artificial intelligence) those of animals that have recently become extinct.
Featured artists include Ariel Guzik, Amalia Pica with Rafael Ortega, Kuai Shen, Demelza Kooij and Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, whose work immerses visitors in animals’ sonic lives: from an ocean choir of whales and dolphins recorded by hydrophone to the quiet interactions between wolves captured by drone camera, to a living colony of leafcutter ants ‘scratching’ music in the gallery.
The exhibition opens to the public on Friday, 20 March 2020, until Sunday, 14 June 2020, at FACT Liverpool. FACT’s year of The Living Planet launches the previous day, Thursday, 19 March, with Spring Assembly: The Living Planet, a public event that will open up and explore some of the themes raised by the exhibition.