Drawing to birds as the sound track. David Birchall's Bird Song Book uses pencil marks on paper to write the sound of birds. There is text, in english, a running commentary of being out where birds are, and then it all becomes clusters of small noises.
Another series, Sound Drawings (white ink, black paper) also uses the small scratch mark written language of birds combined with english language notations of place and mind; bird song and bird presence punctuate Birchall's thoughts, which in turn intervene in the continuity of bird life.
These drawings inform Tacita Dean's inscribed cloud drawings — phrases from books, from everyday speech interrupt the process of drawing – they interrupt the perception of the drawn image as representation, returning the chalk marks to just that: marks, like letters that we ascribe value to. Birchall's drawings are of sound, not the things that produce sound, so in looking at them, the degree of representation is not visual but audial.
I'm no longer sure whether we are a logocentric people, where language and parole, text and textuality, register all the layers of meaning and interaction we need to know about. Although both Dean and Birchall are film-makers, not writers in the traditional sense, both are drawing a language, one in english, the other in bird.