Press release

The Great Animal Orchestra: Bernie Krause & United Visual Artists

The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain and the Exploratorium of San Francisco are pleased to present The Great Animal Orchestra. This immersive installation celebrates the richness of our planet's biodiversity and makes a plea for preserving the beauty of the animal world. Created by American bioacoustician Bernie Krause and the London based studio United Visual Artists (UVA), it was commissioned by the Fondation Cartier for its eponymous exhibition in Paris in 2016.

After the success of its tour in Seoul, Shanghai, Milan, London, Boston, Sydney and Lille, The Great Animal Orchestra is presented in California, home to Bernie Krause.

In this State plagued by megafires and extreme meteorological phenomena, the presentation of this major work of the Collection of the Fondation Cartier will have a particular resonance. Over the course of nearly fifty years, Bernie Krause collected more than 5,000 hours of recordings of natural environments, including at least 15,000 terrestrial and marine species from around the world. Trained as a musician, Krause found animal vocalizations in the natural world to be akin to musical harmony and orchestral organization.

Krause’s soundscapes reveal that within any ecosystem, each species has its own acoustic niche and human activities are increasingly silencing these great animal orchestras.