Title: Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheep, Cheep - Work no longer on site.

Artist: Gwen MacGregor   Exhibition year: 1999

"...Gwen MacGregor's audio installation Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheep, Cheep is situated in an abandoned tool shed along the roadside. The intimate scale of this structure counters the vastness of the surrounding forests; the landscape is reduced, contained within a physiologically interior space. As we open the weathered door, we are drawn from the sunlight into the darkness. A cacophony arises from the interior, as if hundreds of creatures have been awakened from sleep within their sequestered abode. There is no single sound source: the anarchy of twittering conjures a sense of abject chaos. Humour subsides. An innocent or romanticized view of nature is seized by a kind of primal anxiety. We feel trapped in this snare of sonorous cries. Thirty-five miniature battery-operated speakers are suspended from different parts of the ceiling. On contact with light they emit amplified sounds reminiscent of birds, crickets or bats. Simple devices, their structure is skeletal, their voices abstracted from their materiality. MacGregor's 'creatures' do not merely imitate the natural; technology recreates nature in its own disembodied image. Given shifts in these viewer-animated conditions, the behaviour of her mechanical components is unpredictable. The duration of the piece, itself, is contingent on the life of the batteries. The performative aspects of the work, and the heightened sensations it elicits, induce a sense of immediacy as if reiterating the instantaneity, which defines our culture. Conflating aesthetic strategies of immateriality and impermanence with the invisible forces of technology, MacGregor foregrounds our immersion in a technologically mediated reality, and our consequent alienation from the natural. " 
Carolyn Bell Farrell, "Axis of Time," The Tree Museum, (The Tree Museum, 2000)

Gwen MacGregor graduated from York University in 1982. Since that time, she has continued to exhibit nationally and internationally. Her recent solo shows include those at The Koffler Gallery, Toronto (2000), Ex Teresa Art Actual, Mexico City (1999), Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge (1998), and Mercer Union, Toronto (1994).