It often requires a local, community based artist like Jenna Spevack to get proactive for anyone’s ears to perk up. She wanted people to listen so she did what any artist would do, she created something from nothing. Spevack has created “Birds of Brooklyn (1),” a “community-based audio artwork that brings the sounds of Brooklyn’s displaced, endangered, and bygone birds to sites around the borough.”
Spevack is using the dwindling or lost audio patchwork to make a statement about our world. “As our bird population’s decrees, their silence sends us a warning signal about the failing health of ecosystems.”
How Birds of Brooklyn works is that “during daylight and early-evening hours bird songs that are rarely heard in densely populated Brooklyn neighborhoods are projected from each participating host location.” So if you’ve been walking around thinking you’re going mad, it may just be Spevack’s instillation.
“Twenty different recordings can be heard by neighborhood residents and passersby including the Ring-necked Pheasant, Grasshopper Sparrow, and the Eastern Blue Bird.
Unfortunately her work may have come along too late as many of the birdsongs used in Birds of Brooklyn are now to such decreased levels that their songs will never be heard naturally again. Still, the artist should be praised for her insightful commentary, her caring about the bird’s songs, and her community’s health as a whole.