Foundation Cartier Unveils North American Premiere of 'The Great Animal Orchestra'

Foundation Cartier Unveils North American Premiere of 'The Great Animal Orchestra'

Foundation Cartier Unveils North American Premiere of 'The Great Animal Orchestra'

The immersive exhibition curated by Bernie Krause is on display at the Peabody Essex Museum.

The immersive exhibition curated by Bernie Krause is on display at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Text: Matthew Velasco

The Foundation Cartier for Contemporary Art — the storied cultural institution created by the famed Maison — is journeying to Salem, Massachusetts to present the North American premiere of The Great Animal Orchestra. On display at the Peabody Essex Museum, the experience is a sprawling collaboration between bioacoustian Bernie Krause and London-based collective United Visual Artists.

Featuring more than 5,000 hours of recordings derived from natural environments — including at least 15,000 terrestrial and marine species from around the world — museum attendees are thrust into an immersive experience that both celebrates the planet's unique biodiversity while also raising awareness of its continued decline. Along with uniquely experiential sounds, the exhibition also features a new documentary about Bernie Krause, directed by French filmmaker Vincent Tricon and produced by the Foundation Cartier.

Great Animal Orchestra

“Bernie Krause’s work teaches us that each animal species possesses its own acoustic animal signature that, like a musical instrument in an orchestra, positions itself with both precision and subtlety within the score of the soundscape of the ecosystem in which it lives" said Hervé Chandès, General Director of the Foundation Cartier. "The polyphony of the great animal orchestra is rapidly being silenced and we must band together to protect our natural resources and environments.”

Great Animal Orchestra
Great Animal Orchestra

On view from November 20, 2021 through May 22, 2022, The Great Animal Orchestra is Foundation Cartier's first exhibition partnership in the United States in over two decades. Utilizing United Visual Artists-developed computer software, the exhibition boasts an array of animated spectrograms generated by Krause’s soundscapes. The series of transmitted frequencies form a visual interpretation of the locations and settings that Krause’s original audio iterations were produced in.

Great Animal Orchestra

Forever an innovator, Krause's elaborate recordings as a tool to study natural habitats has led to an entirely new field —soundscape ecology. Krause's The Great Animal Orchestra is also a part of the Peabody Essex Museum's 'Present Tense Innitiative,' a multi-faceted celebration of the role that creative expression plays in shaping the world.“Bernie takes a multi-sensory approach to studying nature. His work reveals that we can more quickly understand the health of a given ecosystem by listening to it than by looking at it,” said Trevor Smith, the Peabody Essex Museum’s Associate Director.

Credits: Images courtesy of Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists.

UP NEXT

VMAN Exclusive: George Inaki Root Gets Ready for Dior's 2021 Guggenheim International Gala
The CEO, Founder, and Creative Director of MILAMORE Fine Jewelry gives VMAN a special look at how he got ready for the 2021 Guggenheim International Gala, hosted by Dior.