How To: Art Made Together with Non-Human Animals
How to Collaborate with Birds
By Britt Kilpatrick Brandi Rose (05/09/06 14:14:50)
Related animals: Bird, Human


As an artist, it is important to understand that your piece is about the creative process. You have to allow for the work to change from your original intention to its final outcome. When collaborating with another party, this is an especially important concept to keep in mind. Through your observation and interaction with the birds, you will discover which medium they want to use in collaboration with you, as well as their material(s) of choice. It is very likely that your original idea will immensely change with the evolution of the artwork. Embrace this as an opportunity to learn and be inspired through your collaborative partner!

How to Collaborate with Birds

1.Make a list of possible birds and/or environments with which you want to collaborate.
2.Research and refine list.
3.Through research, identify communication techniques, interactive behaviors within the species as well as feeding and migrating habits of each bird.
4.Investigate prior interspecies collaborative projects with bird of choice. Use the information as initial research to help develop your project ideas into a deeper understanding of the types of mediums you can use in your collaboration.
5.Observe your birds in its natural habitat.
6.Establish contact with your birds.
7.Experiment with different mediums and/or materials with the birds.
8.If birds respond to experimental materials, continue to step 9. If birds do not respond, rework your project ideas and repeat step 7.
9.Decide on materials.
10.Prepare medium for collaboration. If working in performance piece, extra research will be required to ensure your birds will be available to collaborate. If working in digital video, make sure you have the correct equipment to capture the birds animation and vocalization. If working in sculpture, use materials that are not hazardous to the health of the birds. Construct the piece to be placed in birds’ environment. If working in a 2D medium, make sure any materials the birds come in contact with are non-toxic for animals and humans.
11.Collaborate with the birds!
12.After collaboration, decide which part(s) of your art process will be most conducive to the gallery space in which you intend to exhibit.
13.Exhibit your work!

Quoted from Australian Government Marine Park Authority:

• Wherever possible keep well away from colonies of roosting or nesting seabirds.
• If you cannot avoid going near a colony, always keep a low profile. This will minimize the risk of disturbing birds. Stressed birds may move from their nests or chicks, or take flight, leaving their nest unprotected.
• When approaching birds, be quiet, avoid rapid or sudden movements, crouch low and use existing cover where possible.
• Keep noise to a minimum. Do not sound horns, sirens or loudspeakers.
• If seabirds exhibit stressful behaviour overhead, such as raucous calling or swooping, leave the area immediately.
• Be careful not to crush eggs and chicks — some are well camouflaged.
• Never attempt to touch birds, chicks or eggs.
• Avoid using lights near or in bird colonies.
• Take particular care on seabird islands at the following sensitive times:
o late afternoon and early evening
o during the hottest part of the day
o wet and/or cold weather
o moonlit nights
o when eggs, naked or downy
o chicks are in their nests.
• Learn about the habits and needs of seabirds to increase your appreciation of them.

Related Website: Australian Government Marine Park Authority
[Write Comment]