This Is Your Bird on Drugs

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A screenshot from Andy Thomas' animated short <em>Nightingale and Canary</em>

Australian multimedia artist Andy Thomas makes bird songs dance with 3D animations. It’s the latest in his line of “audio life forms.”

Using 3D visualization software and other programs, Thomas breaks down photos of insects, orchids, and birds into their composite parts. He then reassembles the images in a sort of collage and builds trippy animations that react, based on rules he's set, to sound – in this case, archival bird song.

The resulting multimedia visualizations are stunning. They also suggest what you might see if you stood in the forest listening to the birds, while tripping on acid. The psychedelic feel is enhanced by the constant shape-shifting of the form, which in turn encourages you to be hyper-aware of the full range of tweets and trills. Here Thomas animates the songs of the nightingale and canary:

Thomas has been painting and drawing since he was a child. In 1997 he began exploring the realm of digital art, and in recent years started experimenting with “creating a visual fusion between Nature and Technology.” But he also describes this work a bit moralistically “corrupting nature with technology." Watch more here.