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Animals speak out in FACT's Living Planet season

FACT has designated its 2020 as the year of The Living Planet with a programme planned to reflect mankind's impact on the natural world and its inhabitants.

The Wood Street venue’s series of exhibitions opens on March 20 with And Say the Animal Responded? which considers what we could learn if we listened to what the animal kingdom had to say to us.

The show brings together the work of five international artists/artist groups - Ariel Guzik (Mexico), Amalia Pica (Argentina/UK) with Rafael Ortega (Mexico), Kuai Shen (Ecuador), Demelza Kooij (Netherlands/UK - Liverpool) and Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg (UK) - presenting visitors with face-to-face encounters with the sounds and behaviours of animals from around the world.

Video and sound installations will allow visitors to immerse themselves in animals’ sonic lives, from an ocean choir of whales and dolphins recorded by hydrophone to the quiet interactions between wolves captured by drone camera, and a living colony of leafcutter ants ‘scratching’ music in the gallery.

A colony of leafcutter ants turn DJ in Ecuadorian artist and ant scholar Kuai Shen's living artwork Oh!m1gas, a reactive sound installation in which the ants control the movement of two turntables

And there will be live performances of Catalogue of Great Ape Gestures, co-commissioned with MDI, a piece incorportating gestures used by gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos.

Above: Wolves from above by Liverpool-based artist Demelza Kooij

Top: The Substitute by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg

And So the Animal Responded? is being curated by FACT’s new Director and CEO Nicola Triscott. She said: “At a time when we need to rethink our relationship with the planet, its timely to consider the nature and rights of animals.

“Through the exhibition, and a season of events and discussions running alongside, we will engage audiences in exploring animal intelligence and communication and question the human-animal hierarchy.”

Throughout year of The Living Planet, FACT plans to collaborate with artists working on the cutting edge of film, art and creative technology to explore pressing environmental and ecological issues.

They include artist collective Keiken (UK), artist Jack Tan (UK), artists-in-residence Carolin Liebl and Nikolas Schmid-Pfähler (Germany).

And So the Animal Responded? is at FACT from March 20 until June 14 and is free.

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