removing

REMOVING A CUP NEST OF A TURDUS MIGRATORIUS FROM THE TERRACES OF A BRICK CHIMNEY DOCUMENTED WITH CELLPHONE, 2010
Performance

1. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 prohibits the removal of all listed species or their parts (feathers, eggs, nests, etc.) from private property such as trees or buildings.

2. Birdnest Morphology, aka Comparative Caliology
scrape
mound
burrow
cavity
cup
saucer
platform
pendant
sphere
island
man-made

Professor Rennie, in his little volume entitled “Bird Architecture,” written almost a century ago, took his cue from Aristophanes, an ancient Greek dramnatist, and introduced the birds as artisians accordinig to the form or nature of their nests: miners, masonis, carpenters, basket-makers, weavers, tailors, cementers, felt-makers and parasites; also grounid, platform and dome-builders […] —Burns, Frank L. The Philosophy of Birds’ Nests and Comparative Caliology in Consideration of Some Local Nidicolous Birds. The Wilson Bulletin, Vol. 36, No. 2 (Jun., 1924), p 81.

3. Behavior of Turdus Migratorius: nest-building, vocalizations
The nest is most commonly located 1.5–4.5 meters (5–15 ft) above the ground in a dense bush or in a fork between two tree branches, and is built by the female alone. The outer foundation consists of long coarse grass, twigs, paper, and feathers. This is lined with smeared mud and cushioned with fine grass or other soft materials. A new nest is built for each brood, and in northern areas the first clutch is usually placed in an evergreen tree or shrub while later broods are placed in deciduous  trees.  The American Robin does not shy away from nesting close to human habitation. [ . . . ]
In addition to its song, the American Robin has a number of calls used for communicating specific information. When a ground predator approaches but does not directly threaten, Robins will make a PEEK!! tut tut tut tut… warning call, often preceded by an explosive seeech each-each-each. When a nest or Robin is being directly threatened, another he-he-he-he call is used, which sounds like a horse’s whinny.

Dawn song of the American Robin

4. Robin Egg Blue
… in human culture: In the bandana code subculture, wearing a pale robin egg blue colored bandana means that one is looking for someone with whom to perform 69.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “removing

  1. tara

    thanks for tip on the bandana code. I won’t ever look at a bandana without consulting wiki again.

    • zzttpp

      Implicit artwork series…

      figure : ground :: top : bottom
      kerchief paisley on eggshell speckle
      blue on blue
      black on black
      lavender on lavender
      gold on argyle on velvet on houndstooth
      folded and stretched
      tucked in/up and laid out/down
      cracked and devoured

  2. tara

    the plastic eggs will never be the same again. perhaps this post-easter they won’t be banished to a bin in the basement.

    second scenario: they spend their time yearlong in someone’s fancy bowl as a centerpiece. their houndstooth velvet shell just waiting to be touched.

  3. zzttpp

    I was and still can’t stop associating this with Lara Schnitger’s work:
    http://www.antonkerngallery.com/artist.php?aid=26#

    • zzttpp

      This video is amazing compared to the meager images I’ve been able to find online.

      The bowerbird is a challenge (to humans) partly because appraising their work without being reductive or anthropocentric is difficult. Not only ‘how do they appropriate materials?’ and ‘how do their compositions interact with their environment?’, but beyond that, ‘how do they conduct the capacities of their materials into transformations of local eco-systems and themselves?’
      It may be too easy to appraise their creations in relation to humans (the frailty of construction when meeting the hiker’s boots or the logger’s bulldozer) or too habitual to imagine what affordances the bowerbird has produced for itself and what perspective on the assembling-world it experiences in doing so.
      The following are some half-thoughts about what happenings these bowerbirds might be in the thick of. And all of it without hands or fingers in the hominid sense (remember the significance of opposable thumbs in discourses about the invention of tools).

      architectural engineers:
      materials strength (tensile, compressive, or shear stress capacities)
      frictional adhesion (found mechanical fastenings)
      general capacities of biomaterials (eg. cellulose, i.e. degradation)

      geometrical design in the expanded field:
      organized into practical demonstrations of principles related to stacking, packing, piling, etc.

      with a mind to transforming:
      heating, ventilation, air conditioning
      lighting
      creatural mobility

      in order to intervene in the signal-sign systems of other organisms:
      compositions of colorants, postures, and arrangements to attract mates,
      deter predators etc.

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