This Is Your Bird on Drugs

Tuesday, September 02, 2014 - 08:00 AM

From Andy Thomas' animated short 'Nightingale and Canary' A screenshot from Andy Thomas' animated short Nightingale and Canary (Andy Thomas)

Australian multimedia artist Andy Thomas makes bird songs dance with 3D animations. It’s the latest in his line of “audio life forms.”

Using 3D visualization software and other programs, Thomas breaks down photos of insects, orchids, and birds into their composite parts. He then reassembles the images in a sort of collage and builds trippy animations that react, based on rules he's set, to sound – in this case, archival bird song.

The resulting multimedia visualizations are stunning. They also suggest what you might see if you stood in the forest listening to the birds, while tripping on acid. The psychedelic feel is enhanced by the constant shape-shifting of the form, which in turn encourages you to be hyper-aware of the full range of tweets and trills. Here Thomas animates the songs of the nightingale and canary:

Thomas has been painting and drawing since he was a child. In 1997 he began exploring the realm of digital art, and in recent years started experimenting with “creating a visual fusion between Nature and Technology.” But he also describes this work a bit moralistically “corrupting nature with technology." Watch more here.

 

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Comments [3]

Jeff from Austin

I agree that Andy Thomas' visual syntheses of natural sound recordings are stunningly beautiful; however, my experiences with LSD never produced visual hallucinations.

P.S. Hi James and Dale

Sep. 03 2014 02:30 AM
James from Guangzhou, China

+1 to Dale. Oh look! Here's non-representational art. It must be about drugs, not about imagination. You can't actually be serious about that... *eye-roll*

The art itself is excellent!

PS Hi, Dale :)

Sep. 02 2014 09:07 PM
Dale from Pennsylvania

Another striking integration of visuals and sound.

*On the other hand*, the article says:

"The resulting multimedia visualizations are stunning. They also suggest what you might see if you stood in the forest listening to the birds, while tripping on acid."

We really need better metaphors. Why does any phenomenon outside the range of lowest-common-denominator perception have to be about drugs? Why can't it be, "These are your senses and brain when you are really paying attention to the world around you!"?

Sep. 02 2014 05:26 PM

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