Communicative and Cognitive Abilities of Grey Parrots: A Connection to Music?
Grey parrots are exceptional vocal learners; this ability is useful for examining their cognitive capacities. Vocal learning also seems necessary for “entrainment”—aligning movement to external beats, an essential part of music. Entrainment appears to arise spontaneously in vocal learners (Schachner et al., 2009) but requires extensive training in species only related to vocal learners (Cook et al., 2013). I describe Grey parrot capacities and how they may relate to musical understanding.
Irene M. Pepperberg, SB (MIT), MA (Harvard), PhD (Harvard), is a Research Associate and Lecturer at Harvard. She has been a visiting Assistant Professor at Northwestern University, tenured Associate Professor at the University of Arizona, and visiting Associate Professor at the MIT Media Lab. She received John Simon Guggenheim, Selby, and Radcliffe Fellowships, is a Fellow of AAAS, APA, APS, Animal Behavior Society, American Ornithologists’ Union, and Midwest and Eastern Psychological Associations. She serves on the editorial board of several journals, was an associate editor of the Journal of Comparative Psychology, and a board member of the Eastern Psychological Association.
Animal-Computer Interaction: designing Interactive technology for and with animals
This presentation introduces Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI) as anemerging discipline, providing an account of its ongoing development. With a focus on the work of The Open University’s ACI Lab, it explores the design, methodological and ethical issues involved in designing interactive technology, including musical applications, for and with animals.
Dr. Clara Mancini is a Senior Lecturer in Interaction Design at The Open University’s School of Computing and Communications and the founding director of the Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI) Laboratory. The ACI Lab¹s mission is to expand the boundaries of interaction design beyond the human species by: investigating the interaction between animals and technology in naturalistic settings; designing interactive technology that supports animals’ activities and welfare in different contexts; and developing user-centred methods that enable animals to participate in the design process. Clara is especially interested in ACI’s methodological challenges and innovation opportunities; and in the potential of this emerging discipline to contribute to human and animal wellbeing, social inclusion, interspecies cooperation and environmental restoration.
ANIMALS MAKE MUSIC: Current Trends in Non-Human Musical Expression
The overview of recent musical instruments and interfaces that involve animals in the interaction and music-generation process highlights the costs and benefits of projects of this kind. It provides insights into current technologies in this field and the musical talents of animals.
Reinhard Gupfinger is a research team member and PhD student of the Interface Cultures Department at University for Art and Design Linz. His work connects the fields of art, science and technology, whereby Animal Musical Instrument Research (AMIR) is his thematic research priority.
Searching for cross-cultural music universals in other species.
Music is found in all human cultures, which suggests that music is not a purely cultural phenomenon, but has roots in our biology. Not only that, but some aspects of music tend to be found cross-culturally, suggesting that they are fundamental to the phenomenon of human music. Are these fundamental features of human musical systems found in other species? I will describe two experimental paradigms I have used, operant conditioning and place preference paradigms, to compare human and non-human perception of musical universals, focusing on work I have conducted with several avian species.
Dr. Marisa Hoeschele did her graduate studies in Canada at the University of Alberta studying pitch perception in birds and humans. Since then, she has established the budgerigar laboratory as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Cognitive Biology at the University of Vienna. Along with her students and collaborators, Dr. Hoeschele studies the origins of human musicality using comparative (cross-species) experiments. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marisa_Hoeschele
Listening Before, Beyond, and Alongside the Human: On Parrots, Sound, and the Agency of the Non-Human
This contribution examines metamusic in the context of multispecies agency, imagining acoustic realms where human voice and human noise reside solely as players within a larger phenomenology or ecosystem of communication. The project asks us to rethink our understanding of inter-/multispecies agency and open ourselves up to a wealth of alternative ways to encountering sound, in order to see new avenues for knowledge production
Daniel Gilfillan is Associate Professor of German Studies, and affiliate faculty in Film and Media Studies, Jewish Studies, and English at Arizona State University. His research focuses on 20th-century literature, sound and media studies in the German-speaking sphere. He is currently working on a book titled Sound in the Anthropocene: Sustainability and the Art of Sound, which explores the role of sound as a perceptive mode within sustainable systems, and how sound-based art, radio art, and cinema provide interventions into these systems. His first book, Pieces of Sound: German Experimental Radio (2009) is available through the University of Minnesota Press.
Promises of Pigeons and Dogs: What We Can Learn from Animal Aesthetics in the Black Public Sphere
Jim Jarmuschs film “Ghost Dog” (2000) has been described by its director as “Gangster/Gangsta/Hip-Hop/Samurai/Eastern/Western”. While being widely praised for its surreal musicality and visual virtuosity in portraying the last days of a Black Samurai and contract killer named Ghost Dog, who lives an otherwise rather reclusive life preferring the company of his messenger pigeons, the focus of this contribution will be on the exemplary poetico-political positions that are embedded into the cinematographic fabric of this film addressing wider questions of resistance in non-innocent contexts.
Fahim Amir works at the intersections of naturecultures and colonial historicities, transcultural agency and urbanism. He is currently teaching at the Department of Experimental Design of the University of Art and Industrial Design Linz. Amir was curator of Live Art Festival 2013 “Zoo3ooo: Occupy Species” (Kampnagel, Hamburg) and “Salon Klimbim: Feeding Vegetarian Tigers – Entertaining Utopian Sensibilities” (Secession Vienna, 2014). Amir co-edited “Transcultural Modernisms” (Sternberg Press, 2013) and recently authored the afterword to the German translation of Donna Haraways “Companion Species Manifesto” (Merve, 2016). Forthcoming: “Schwein und Zeit: Tiere, Politik und Verbrechen” (Nautilus, 2018).
Animal language, animal music: Are language and music exclusively human?
The fact that communication and musical feeling is only a human cultural criterion has not been valid for a number of years. The formation of musicality is most probably due to neurological links in vertebrate animals.
Born in Baden near Vienna: Education – HTL Specialization in electrical engineering, professional activity in the “Elektrotechnische Versuchsanstalt Arsenal Wien” and in the industry (engineering office), afterwards self-employment in the technical commercial area and at the same time studies at the University of Vienna – main subject zoology and subsidiary subject botany, dissertation – Metabolic physiology (including the development of an automatic respirometer). Afterwards university career, most researches in the field of bioacoustics, especially on phonetic systems in fish. Participation in an international program for the control of sleeping sickness, researches in zoological gardens, development of new laboratory methods (Körperschallregierung, phytoacoustics – use of acoustic side effects of photosynthesis in aquatic plants for measuring purposes).