The Birdhouse Project. Installation. 2011
Gathering inspiration from shoefiti, or shoe tossing, three pair of shoe-shaped birdhouses became a public art installation in Lillehammer, Norway. The main goal behind this art project was to offer a temporary housing solution for the Pied Flycatcher(Ficedula hypoleuca), a migrant bird that winters in West Africa, while at the same time create a debate about the human relationship with nature in an urban context.
The shoe shaped birdhouses hung from the power lines and street lamps at different spots in Lillehammer from the last week of April 2011, until the first week of September 2011.
There were a series of requirements for the birdhouses in order to be produced and used by the birds. These included materials, dimensions, porosity, permeability, as well as the specific week when they have to be hung, height from the ground, weight, etc.
This was a rewarding experience where design, science, technology and contemporary art came together to create a new concept that became a practical object for the birds while at the same time giving some local colour to the urban landscape. When a pair of birds decided to make a nest in one of the shoes, the project was officially successful.
Inner dimensions of each birdhouse are: 120x120x260mm. (height x width x length) and minimum 20mm thick, with a hole of 32 mm in diameter. The sole can be detached in order to clean the birdhouse after the breeding season. An additional compartment was also created to place a webcam for future use.
I’m looking forward to placing them out again in spring 2012 to host new birds in a new location. Please take contact if an institution might be interested to exhibit this piece from the last week of April-August 2012.