Steel Birdhouse with Mirror interior, interior video projection. Size: 8″ x 10″ x 11″
If humans complete existence can be fulfilled in front of a screen, in stands to reason that our pets are missing out. I wanted to find out what happens if video screens are placed into animal homes, even replacing the animals themselves.
I am currently working on a steel birdhouse. The interior will be mirrored, and contain a bird’s nest with eggs. A looped video screen will play a mashed version Hitchcock’s “The Birds”.
The second piece I am calling “PetTV”. This is a Victorian birdcage with a LCD screen hanging from the perch. A video clip of a parrot plays on the screen. (No messy bird poop!) As the viewer approaches the cage, face recognition software captures his facial image via a hidden webcam. Software created using Max/MSP places the viewers head inside the cage on the head of the bird!
Why pick on poor hapless little birds? (No birds where harmed in the production of these pieces). Originally I wanted to find a way to imprison a person looking at screen, be it computer or TV. Pets, and their homes seemed like a fun way to make a metaphor for the human condition.
Here’s a short video from the Fall ’08 California College of the Arts Interface Show: