About this work

The Dogs’ Ears website is the first online canine video-chat line. You can ‘live chat’ with one of 21 International dogs by becoming an art patron.

Purchasing a Patronship of Dogs' Ears, means you are contributing to the next stage of the artwork - developing the Ear-Music-Extraction System to make music from dog ear movements. Patrons automatically become co-owners of the music generated by the EME System. You can also gain access to the chat area by donating to the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People where dogs' ears really do change lives.

Dogs' Ears explores the beauty and language of the dog ear. Once the canine ‘conversation’ has started, each dog responds in its own language, whether it is an English ‘woof woof’, a Chinese ‘wang wang', the Russian ‘gav gav’ or the universal twitch and flap.

About the Artist

Julie Freeman’s work spans visual, audio and digital artforms and explores the relationship between science, nature and how humans interact with it. For the past 12 years her work has focused on using electronic technologies to ‘translate nature’ – whether it is through the sound of torrential rain dripping on a giant rhubarb leaf; a pair of mobile concrete speakers who lurk in galleries haranguing passersby with fractured sonic samples or by providing an interactive platform from which to view the flap, twitch and prick of dogs’ ears.

In 2005 she launched a pioneering digital artwork The Lake, which used advanced technology to track electronically tagged fish and translate their movement into a site-specific audio-visual experience. The work was supported by Tingrith Coarse Fishery and a two year fellowship from NESTA.

She is currently artist-in-residence at the Microsystems and Nanotechnology Centre at Cranfield University where she is creating works that aim to increase public understanding of self-assembly and organising processes at the nanoscale and their potential social impacts and consequences.

Artist's Statement

‘I’ve always been interested in how technology is seductive, how it can present truth and lies with equal gravitas. It can also help us to consider the world in new ways by exposing hidden systems and beauties. I use it to see how natural phenomena and biological systems can be represented as sound, animation or object - translating nature to give a new perspective. The work is rarely predictable, so when I start a new piece I feel I am constructing open frameworks which allow for the free flow of ideas and content - this process is equally as important as the final piece itself.’


This project was commissioned by the ICA. Special thanks to Emma Quinn & Danny Birchall