There are many animals that we will never hear the sound of. Ones that became extinct before the advent of recording technology will be forever silent. However, while we rely on archaeological evidence to know what a dinosaur sounded like, thanks to the written word there are some animals that we have a better approximation of. People heard what animals such as the Dodo, Thylacine and Quagga really sounded like and some of them wrote down their experiences. I shall be using these written accounts as a basis to recreate the vocalisations these creatures used to emit.
This is not a new idea, such a project has been attempted before, however we shall never know for sure how successful or not they have been – it is an exercise in futility. While on the face of it, this project may appear to be a comment on the ever-increasing rate of animal extinctions and the moral implications of de-extinction; it is more focused on the limitations of language as a tool to explain sensory, specifically auditory experiences.
We listen to animals because their language is so foreign from our own.
Practically, I want to create an app that will be loaded onto a tablet and placed in the gallery space, this app will also be available to download. It will contain primary sources describing the vocalisations made by these animals accompanied by my recreations of these sounds. These will be listened to through headphones.