aeolian harps

"The language of birds is very ancient, and like other ancient modes of speech, very elliptical; little is said, but much is meant and understood." -- Gilbert White, qtd. by Susan Howe, The Quarry

“aeolian harps” is the second in the mahicantuck project. It was built and documented in the winter. Materials include sieves, nets, screens, cootie catchers, various traps, and a white “hammock harp” with holes burned into the fabric.

The mockingbird is a master sampler, offering a seemingly endless mashup of birdsong. Not all of his quotes are identifiable; some speculate parts of his repertoire have been carried down from extinct songbirds. If this were to be installed, the recording that accompanies the video in this 2nd piece (a string of mockingbird quotes recorded during the building of the first component, “a 1:1 map of itself”, slowed down to haunting effect) should fill the room.

Aside from the video, the walls of this room would be bare. The small black and white 120 shots (taken with the plastic Rosco camera I used as a child) might dangle in the corners, hung with twine. The rest of the photographic record would be scattered on the floor under panels of frosted glass. Visitors would have to walk across this “ice” before entering the third and final room. 

script unavailable (we await the app that'll translate birdsong into English)