An immersive audiovisual experience by the Ars Electronica Futurelab makes the loss of biodiversity tangible in an impressive way.
The loss of biodiversity is one of the deep issues our planet is facing right now. “Harmony Lost” uses auditive data (voice recordings of birds) paired with data on the decline in bird populations to create an immersive audiovisual experience on this important topic.
The piece by Arno Deutschbauer of the Ars Electronica Futurelab was part of the Data Art & Science Project in collaboration with Toyota Coniq Alpha that was presented at the Ars Electronica Festival 2023. Visitors could experience five artistic explorations that combine data art and data science. As seen here, the projects were also presented in Deep Space 8K – one of the highlights of the Futurelab Night Performances at the Festival.
The decline of the local field and meadow bird population is a tangible example of the loss of biodiversity. For individual species, declines of as much as 80% or more are evident. High-intensity agriculture and land use are the main factors that determine this situation. The acoustic piece is created from the sound of the whinchat (Saxicola rubetra), a bird common once that now faces extinction. When the bird is gone, its song will have disappeared from the earth. Its voice will vanish and only be part of art.
To help, you can join several projects run by BirdLife and other initiatives: from active personal involvement in citizen science projects like bird monitoring to supporting habitat protection measures like conservation projects, where areas of biodiversity are purchased with donations.
To find out more about the Data Art & Science Project, have a look at the Futurelab website.