“The Pteropoetics of Birdstrike” is a work of multimedia scholarship consisting of a curatorial essay and a twenty-five minute audio piece. Working at the intersection of Sound Studies, Environmental Humanities, and Mobility Studies, the project examines the phenomenon of birdstrike: when birds collide with aircraft. The physical and radiophonic spaces of the airport create a contact zone of human and avian aeromobilities, with birdstrikes as vivid dramas of that shared space. I consider the implications of birdstrike through a critical essay that curates an audio composition that works through the selection and juxtaposition of found sound material. That material consists of recordings of air traffic control conversions during birdstrike incidents, recorded interviews with a pioneer in the field of forensic ornithology, and several poetry recitations. The recitations include the iconic “aerial image” of a skylark’s flight-song, paired with recordings of the actual bird. The result of the whole is to redirect a tradition of aerial imagination towards a new “pteropoetics” that understands the sky as a habitat shared with others.
sound, mobility, infrastructure, birds, aviation, environmental humanities, radio art