While hiking in Trinidad, artist Nina Katchadourian was struck by the similarity of bird calls to car alarms. One inspires us to poetry, the other makes us groan and pull the pillow over our ears at night, but they’re both forms of auditory pollution.
Back in New York, Katchadourian fitted a ‘flock’ of three cars with recorded bird calls to mimic to the six-tone siren that echoes constantly through the city. Far from sounding like a bucolic forest, a ‘natural’ car alarm is just as rattling and irritating as the real thing. Not only is real nature not green, it’s downright annoying.