The Singing Condition I is a flock of 20 kinetic bird sculptures modelled after a flock of European Starlings living near my house in Winnipeg. The Starlings have picked up the sounds of the neighbourhood including car alarms, rumbling trucks, and auditory signals at pedestrian crossings. The birds have incorporated these sounds into their song repertoire creating a hybrid call that is partially sourced from electro-mechanical sounds. In The Singing Condition I I follow this one step further by creating electro-mechanic kinetic models of the birds which produce sound based on their moving parts. Each bird opens and closes its beak “singing” to one another by the action of a motor randomly levering the beaks and this action produces sound that mimics the Starlings mimicking traffic sounds, an equivalent of song mimicry of the starlings.
Singing Condition II explores how the human way of life can be documented in unexpected ways. In studying abandoned bird nests I have seen many instances of manufactured materials used in their construction. The most common being yarn and plastic cigarette wrappings. The incorporation of human made materials into the birds' nests demonstrates from the birds' point of view a practicality of materials: if it works and is easily available, use it! However, there is another aspect of this usage: it can be a marker of the extent to which human presence can be measured through its technological by-products. The nest can be seen as an artifact of human manufactured products discarded into the world. From this research I have created a mechanism that spins nests based on human movement. This is done by using human made materials such as plastics, yarns, and metals as the construction elements with an automated mechanism controlled by passive infrared sensors to spin the nests.