Living space decorated by birds
By Brandi Rose and Bird(s)

Started on: 04/27/06 16:09:54
Medium: Sculptural

I read in one of the many books that a chair was placed outside where ravens/crows were for a few days to see if they would play with it. The observers found that the birds would peck at it and tear up certain areas. Since there was no food whatsoever in, on or around the chair and they weren't doing things to the chair for pure survial needs it was deemed that the birds were involved in play behavior. Based of this I would like to see if the crows would collaborate with me on designing furniture or making an installation/sclupture of some sort. If I can get permission to have certain furniture pieces out on the faculty green for the remainder of the quarter I would try to see if we (crows and I) can go back and forth on designing the furniture. For example, I might put a chair out there and rip off a piece. Then see if the crows do something to it. Once they do, I would go and do something new to the piece and it would continue to see if they have found an aesthic value in what "we" were making. As far as it possibly turning into a sculptural/installation piece, I was taking in the consideration that if I leave furniture out there, there is the possibility that other humans would be collaberating in the piece as well by interacting with the furniture or birds. I think it could go in a few directions and if anyone would want to work with me that would be great too!
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Project Updates
05/09/06 23:52:12 - 1st attempt to make contact with crows

I bought some novelty/shinny objects to test out in the faculty green area on Thursday. Monday I went out to the area where the crows seem to frequent but after an hour, only two crows appeared (flew by). Below are the pictures of the area, the people near the area and the only birds that did come around. Unfornately, no birds when near the objects I have placed in the grass. I placed these objects in the grass: a shinny faux apple on a stem, a cactus novelty, and a foam cylinder wrapped in a shinny gold satin fabric.

I wonder if the crows weren't in the area because of the nearby people, time of day, or the weather. I will have to make another attempt during a different time of day.

not crows!

other birds

other birds around

novelty item

shinny novelty item

shiny apple

nearby visitors

factulty green area

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05/11/06 17:21:55 - Materials left out after 2 days

So I decided to leave the objects in the field where I placed them on Monday, with the intent on coming back in 2 days to see if anything has changed. Yesterday I made a visit to the Faculty green area around 5:20pm and found that the satin covered foam cylinder had been altered. The material had somehow been removed from the cylinder and a short distance from it. The foam cylinder also had bird crap on it. The other 2 novelty items seem to be untouched. I have no way of knowing how the material was removed from the foam, but I wonder if the birds around are trying to make a statement by crapping all over the cylinder. Who knows....

seemingly untouched shinny apple

untouched cactus novelty

crapped on cylinder

foam cylinder that was wrapped with satin

satin material removed from cylinder

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06/05/06 13:09:36 - furniture searching

In my search for a piece of furniture with stuffing inside (so that birds can peck if they please) I found many types of chairs. Originally I wanted to leave the chair in one spot for an extended amount of time, but because I wasn't able to get permission to do so I decided I would like to move the chair I ultimately bought in different locations that birds frequent to see if any interaction occurs. With this in mind, I found that many of the chairs were too heavy to move so easily. On Friday I came across and ottoman that seemed to do the trick. The ottoman ( An upholstered low seat or cushioned footstool.- courtsey of was light, small, and upholstred with stuffing inside.

After I found the furniture I would use, I went on a hunt for things to decorate the ottoman with. I bought shiny coin like material in gold and silver, colored lanyard (which seemed to be better than string), and fake grass/flowers (I wanted to bring a little bit of the birds' natural environment to the ottoman, in hopes that it might feel more comfortable landing on the ottoman. In my bird obseravations, I found that many birds tend to land on long leafs/branches sticking out from the ground rather than the ground/grass). I also used the orange satin I had used in experimenting with objects in the faculty green. In my earlier experiements I assumed the birds took the satin off the foam cynlinder since the ends were still tied and the middle section was still neatly taped together, as ifuntouched. A human would probably remove the tape in order to remove the satin. I used all these materials to decorate the ottoman in hopes that the crows will collaberate by either removing things they don't like or moving things around.


the ottoman

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06/05/06 13:29:48 - Ottoman decorating with birds Day 1

I have set it outside my apt yesterday afternoon, where I frequently see birds in the grass, for 7 hours. After the first four hours and no interaction, I decided to use pieces of bread on the ground near the ottoman to intice their curiousity. Three hours had gone by and the sun had gone down, and still no interaction. All the pieces of bread were still there. Seems the birds around did not feel like collaborating that day. I will try a new location today.

ottoman in Cachuma Village grass area.

ottoman outside, day 1

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06/05/06 22:44:29 - Ottoman decorating, Day 2

I moved the ottoman to a new place, in the grass field between Santa Ynez and the Storke Apartmants. Once again the birds did not want to collaborate with me. I left the ottoman out for 4 hours only to see afterwards that nothing had been touched.

Picture taken at beginning of 4 hours
Picture taken at beginning of 4 hours in the SY field area.

After 4 hours in SY field
After 4 hours in SY field

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