Columbidae/Homo 1, Phase 1

2015

 

I propose a three-part conversion/inversion work that explores the interactions between humans and urban-dwelling avian nonhumans. Through non-anthropocentric experimentation I will explore multiple ways in which humans can share experiences with city birds. This experimentation will take the shapes of Architecture Inversion Devices, Vision-Borrowing Systems and Interspecies, Communal Eating along with various system sketches. 

 

Architecture Inversion Devices: Window adapters will allow nonhumans to partially share our internal space, while keeping their waste separate. I plan to build long, transparent corridors that attach to open windows. Bird/human seed snacks will invite urban birds to enter, and various shelves and perches will provide areas for long-term bird visitors. Birds and humans are both able to enter and exit the exhibition space at will. 

 

Vision-Borrowing Systems: The vision-borrowing system will utilize multiple live-feed video projections. A double projection will fill a wall inside of the gallery. This image will feed from two exterior cameras, bringing a bird’s view of the outside world into the (previously human-centric) space. I will optically alter this image to reflect how bird eyes receive light/images.  To represent the information received by a bird’s brain, the two projections will overlap, forming distinctive monocular and binocular vision. Lenses placed in the projected path will act as foveal points, magnifying and sharpening specific areas of the image. A live-feed camera will also capture indoor activity from a human-eye viewpoint. This information will project onto a small, ultraviolet light-reflecting surface, located inside of the Architecture Inversion Construction for birds to view. The Vision-Borrowing System will allow both species to watch the other, in modes sensitive to their respective ways of seeing.

 

Interspecies, Communal Eating: Urban birds thrive in cities where discarded human food becomes a nonhuman nutrient source. However, many of these human foods are not ideal for the dietary needs of our nonhuman co-inhabitants. I will offer food designed for both human and nonhuman consumption. These foods will be packaged for convenient nibbling, encouraging humans to eat them on the go. The falling crumbs and discarded morsels will arrive to nonhumans through typical means of scavenging. The interspecies snacks will be rich with seeds and nuts, and low in sodium and sugars. 

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