Today I made my first attempt at creating a structure with random objects to see Poca's interaction with it. I started this project by using mostly objects/toys she was familiar with. I used her favorite sock, two of her hangers, as well as the duck toy she has bonded to. Since she loves finding little crevices to explore, I decided to make a cave-like structure. I used pillows and a blanket as the roof and walls. I used the clothes hangers as supporting beams for the structure. Then from there I placed inside of it her favorite sock and a little duck toy. I placed her on the couch away from the cave structure and watched what she did. As expected, she went straight for the cave. She started by inspecting the outer edges, stopping to chew on some lose strings from the blanket and on the pillow. She slowly inched her way into the cave. She went for the furthest corner first. I decided to make the cave even deeper to see if she liked that better. She apparently did, since she again went to the furthest part of the cave. As I continued to make it a deeper cave, she continued to inch forward to the darkest corners. After I left it alone for a few minutes she went to poke around at the little duck toy. A few minutes later she went for her sock. Her sock is her all time favorite toy, so that is not surprising. She didn't appear to notice the hangers, probably because they didn't look like hangers at the time, being used as pillars. Poca spent about an hour total inside the cave, with occasional outings to check if I was still there. Overall, I would say that Poca thoroughly enjoyed her time inside the structure. This is only the beginning of my project utilizing random objects. I started out pretty safe, using mostly objects she was already fairly attached to. My next step will be to use more objects that she has not seen before. I might try creating an area/structure comprised mostly or entirely of different types of socks, since that seems to be one of her main interests. Then I will see which ones she prefers, and what it is about her current favorite sock that is so appealing. I will also test to see which structures Poca likes best, such as combining various designs to shape different caves. This project is challenging me to be creative with random household objects, but its a fun challenge. The objective is to better understand how Poca interacts with her surroundings, and how she adjusts to new places she is unfamiliar with. In particular, I am interested in finding out how Poca's interests in the structures reflect how she would design her own living space, if she could. By experimenting with different structures, I hope to test the designs against one another to find out what she feels most comfortable in and enjoys most. This process is analagous to how I treat her cage space -- I consistently redesign her cage to keep her entertained and stop her from being bored, but my redesigns build on each other as I discover what she enjoys most. Similarly, I hope to test structures and learn about Poca through the redesigns, noting which features she likes best. On top of this, watching my little bird explore new surroundings is pretty entertaining. I will be uploading pictures of the experience soon, and will upload pictures of new structures as they develop.
06/03/13 12:01:43 - Cardboard cave
So as an addition to this project I decided to create a different type of cave structure using a cardboard box. It was originally designed to fit snugly into her cage, but I ended up using it primarily out of the cage. I cut it so that there were some strips of cardboard hanging over the entry way so that Poca may chew on them. She hasn't really taken an interest to this cave structure however. Normally she loves to chew on cardboard boxes, but she didn't explore this one like I expected. This is the first cave structure that she didn't take to immediately, or at all really. I will continue to leave it out for her to explore and see if anything changes. [Write Comment]
06/03/13 12:09:24 - I was wrong
Okay so right after I pressed submit to my project update in which I said that Poca was not interested in her cardboard cave, I looked over to her cage, and there she was poking around the little cave! As I write this, she is chewing on the hanging cardboard pieces and scoping out the cave. Very successful play structure for her as it turns out. I am not sure if I should include this project that has turned into cave structures in the upcoming art show, since it doesn't seem to be a form of art. Maybe it is? I'm not sure. I'm currently planning on hanging her paper snowflakes up as the display. I might include pictures of her cave dwellings on the wall as well.
This is so awesome. Your bird has such a unique personality which im sure makes collaborating really interesting. I especially enjoy the relationship that your bird has with the sock. I think there is a lot of potential for projects that deal with the connection between animals and the objects that they are attached to.