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hiss coo caw hoot moo dook buzz boom caw quack groan croak squeak bleat scream snarl growl roar howl bawl vowl hiss buzz bark chirp chucle warble rumble whine yap yelp

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What are they?

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www.reddatabook.com is an interactive website created on the basis of Indrė Liškauskaitė’s Red Data Book: New, Rare and Endangered Animal Species.

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Everyone can join in and contribute their own sounds. Click register or login and start interpreting fictional animals through the medium of sound. Follow the written rules, create and record the sounds made by the described animal or adapt already-existing sounds. After uploading your own sound, you will be able to listen to other users’ creations. Become a non-human animal yourself. There are no profession, age or species limits.

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The Red Data Book project started several years ago, when my work began to include, increasingly more often, motifs of non-existent, new species of animals. This idea of new animal species took over my thoughts, almost like a virus, and encouraged me to take more of an interest in the animal kingdom, biodiversity, and the scientific phenomenon itself. I quickly realised that I didn’t want anyone else to see the species that I had envisioned in my head. Visual representation is of no interest to me, which is why I began to search for non- visual forms of expression through which I could ‘show’ my new and unique species. I understood that first and foremost I had to include it in actual scientific discourse and this is how my worktable came to be covered in various Red Books and Red Lists. The medium of rare and little-known animal species was conceptually perfect for introducing a new type of creature and establishing their existence.

I began working with the section on animals in the second edition of the
Red Data Book of Lithuania – I rewrote and adapted it. This is how my own Red Data Book: New, Rare, and Endangered Animal Species came to life. It was created by using the original texts from the Red Data Book of Lithuania and inserting things that I had written myself (everything in regular font was fact, while text in italic – fiction). All of the information within the text was stripped of its visual sense by removing any illustrations and proper nouns – without them, in our imagination the descriptions of animals come alive in entirely new shapes and forms than actually exist. In total, there are 210 description of different species in the book, the same number as the section on animals had in the original Red Data Book. The ‘real’ image of the creature is eliminated and begins to form anew. Through adaptations, the Red Data Book of Lithuania comes alive in new aspects and the meaning of the colour red itself intensifies, existing meanings shift. The rearranged scientific system gains mythical features and draws away from the original meanings.

I was fascinated by interpretations from people who had flipped through the paper version of my book, which is how I had the idea to turn it into an interdisciplinary project where the animals that I describe could take on new shapes through sound, because an image can be formed through sound.

I constantly pose questions to myself that force me to think and create. One thing that I find to be important is other people’s participation in the game of imagination.

The theme of animals has always been an integral part of my work. I am interested in creative adaptations of the living world and its artificial inclusions and images, all of which surround us. They encircle us in our daily lives, but real, wild nature is foreign to modern humans. We find out about the wilderness through science, biology discourse, documentaries, or encyclopaedias. Wild animals cross our path as we drive our cars on the highway or they flitter somewhere in the periphery. Meanwhile, cultured images of these wild beasts are so common to us and visible every day that we think we know everything about them. But do we?...

Indrė Liškauskaitė
indreliskauskaite@gmail.com