Citizen Science and Arts – Where man, nature and art meet

Many artists have taken an interest in the sounds of landscapes and the songs and voices of animals. The new DAWN CHORUS app feature developed by multimedia artists Mika Johnson and Marcel Karnapke not only transforms the sounds of nature into visual art, but also adds the innovative function of allowing you to create your own illustrations of the birdsong you record, drawing with “acoustic ink” and thus making your own exclusive and original works of media art. By sharing experiences of nature in both acoustic and visual form via the app in a global sound map, the DAWN CHORUS project combines science, art and social participation. The aim is to raise awareness of the biodiversity of our immediate ecosystems and to sharpen our sensitivity for the endangered richness of the natural world as a source of artistic inspiration.

Use the “Sonic Feather” app feature to create your own media artwork with every new recording and become a citizen artist!

Please note: The “Sonic Feather” app feature is only available when recording a new birdsong.

The DAWN CHORUS app with “Sonic Feather” media art feature is available at no charge for iOS and Android (for smartphones with Android version 8 / iOS version 11 or higher):

Learn more >

For all those who already have the DAWN CHORUS app installed: Just update your app via your App or Google Play Store to get the “Sonic Feather” feature.

Sonic Feather – this is how it works

Anyone who wishes to take part can use the DAWN CHORUS app to record morning birdsong, can then add further information for scientific uses, and ideally also upload a photograph of the place where the birdsong was recorded.

In the next step, you can create your own “Sonic Feather”. When playing the recorded birdsong back to yourself, you can touch the display to create striking graphic traces that are directly generated by the sound and frequency patterns of the recordings. This leads to a kind of visual animation of the birdsong, your “Sonic Feather”, unique just like the birdsong itself.

Mika Johnson, multimedia artist and co-creator of the app feature, shows the genesis of a Sonic Feather:


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The idea behind “Sonic Feather”:

“Every Sonic Feather will be as unique as a person’s fingerprint, just as every feather on this planet is unique. In this case, it makes us aware that sound is never just sound, but also creation. When participants share their creations online, they become part of a bigger story about how science and art combined with technology can reshape the world. This is about inspiration and awareness, about creation, and about science and art joining forces to celebrate the mystery and the beauty that birds and their songs give us.“

Mika Johnson, multimedia artist and co-creator of the app

The artists

Multimedia artist Mika Johnson (born 1975 in San Diego/USA) works in the design of XR experiences and also in various media, including as a director for fictitious and documentary projects. He explores dream-like narratives, myths, rituals and biological diversity in the broadest sense. He worked for example with the Goethe-Institut in New Delhi to establish a virtual library connecting global knowledge systems, and for the Lost Forms and Found Forms project (produced by Expanded Focus Leipzig), which enables users to interact with an iceberg and to immerse themselves in the complex relations between fungi, trees and plants.

The Sonic Feather by Mika Johnson (pdf) >

Berliner artist Marcel Karnapke (born 1983) is a theatre director, a developer, and a teacher. He is co-founder of the artists’ collective CyberRäuber, which creates new formats and applications for mixed realities in the context of classical theatre, opera and ballet. The main focus of his work is on merging high technologies with architectures of the human narrative. His work has received numerous prizes and encompasses themes such as virtual reality, the artificial intelligence of future architecture, archaeology, and the construction of realities.

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