Kristen Cooney

Class of 2022

Artist Statement

A Brief Moment in Song is a data visualization project depicting watercolor abstractions of 49 North American bird species. Each card represents a species that the artist has encountered thus far in her 2021 exploration of the Southeastern Pennsylvanian outdoors. It is a tribute to the number of complex factors that make such encounters possible, both by the hands of human related systems and the natural history of the birds themselves. Every species has a unique combination of colors, each indicating different behaviors, migration patterns, preferred habitat, and other notable features. Some colors even note the aspects of manmade systems that humans use to better understand a species, such as conservation status. The mixture of vibrant and pastel colors employed serve as evidence to why the artist cherishes such moments with wildlife–for the bird’s song, just like a human lifespan, is beautiful but merely ephemeral in the grand scheme of planet Earth’s existence.