BirdMan (2006)

Personal trauma and dream sequences gave birth to the 'BirdMan' character. The 'BirdMan' installation, set up to resemble a natural history exhibit, represents my desire to communicate and share my fascination with this hybridized creature. In the work, I explore possibilities for human beings to overcome human limitations of perception due to physical and psychological reasons. This work is inspired by the Buddhist epistemological idea that the 'Self' is not different from the 'Other', as well as Gilles Deleuze's ideas on memory that our relationship with time will always be elusive and imperfect.

When I walked along the street at Times Square in New York City in 2004, I saw a dead pigeon flattened on the road by a car accident. The bird's wing was torn. This reminded me of a forgotten memory, my trauma. When I was younger, about 6 or 7, I had a severe fear of birds. One day, I had met a wounded bird in a dead alley, but I could not help it. It was a very strange emotional shock for me. I felt both fear and guilt because I could not help the bird and I suffered more because I did my best to understand but still did not know why I felt guilt and fear of birds. Had the bird passed away with spite toward me?

Years later, as an adult, I dreamed of a monster with a bird head and a wing on only one side. In the middle of talking with it, my head became its penis. This bird spoke to me in bird language and I learned its language. The reconstructed skeleton of the BirdMan has a human head and a bird head. What does it see? Birds, highly visual creatures, can recognize 200 frames per second, and some birds have multi-foveae, while humans have only one. The fovea is a small depression in the retina of the eye where visual acuity is highest. Birds have a wider rage of sight than humans. How does 'BirdMan's brain synthesize two kinds of perception?

Imagining a perceptual mixture of a human and a bird eye, I made an emulator to approximate Birdman's method of seeing. The machine eye, mimicking the characteristics of a bird eye and a human eye, moves vertically and horizontally and takes the role of an interface selecting and playing one of the recorded video clips about BirdMan's memory. I expect to realize 'Digital Autopoiesis (auto-creation)' representing both real-time perception and stored memory simultaneously.

TECHNICAL The BirdMan Eye-Perception Emulator is composed of two real-time video cameras, four servo-motors, a PIC micro-controller and MaxMSP/Jitter software. Video cameras capture the audience and send the real-time video through Firewire cable to MaxMSP/Jitter in a computer. Tracking the movement of the audience, Jitter sends two X-Y values of the audience's central position to the micro-controller. The PIC micro-controller controls the servo-motors and makes the camera move horizontally and vertically according to the audience's movement. The video image of the surveillance camera on the servo-motors is sent to Jitter again and, after that, the composite moving images, composed of recorded video clips about BirdMan's memories and real-time captured video images, are played and 'jump-cut' like human memory with time delay and repetition. In addition, the skeleton of BirdMan will be installed in a context of the natural history museum.

Full Description

Personal trauma and dream sequences gave birth to the 'BirdMan’ character. The 'BirdMan' installation, set up to resemble a natural history exhibit, represents my desire to communicate and share my fascination with this hybridized creature. In the work, I explore possibilities for human beings to overcome human limitations of perception due to physical and psychological reasons. This work is inspired by the Buddhist epistemological idea that the ‘Self’ is not different from the ‘Other’, as well as Gilles Deleuze’s ideas on memory that our relationship with time will always be elusive and imperfect. Sigmund Freud uses the term “screen memories” to refer to the childhood memories: Early memory is used as a screen for the later event in the interpretation of dreams.

When I walked along the street at Times Square in New York City in 2004, I saw a dead pigeon flattened on the road by a car accident. The bird’s wing was torn. This reminded me of a forgotten memory, my trauma. When I was younger, about 6 or 7, I had a severe fear of birds. One day, I had met a wounded bird in a dead alley, but I could not help it. It was a very strange emotional shock for me. I felt both fear and guilt because I could not help the bird and I suffered more because I did my best to understand but still didn’t know why I felt guilt and fear of birds. Had the bird passed away with spite toward me? Years later, as an adult, I dreamed of a monster with a bird head and a wing on only one side. In the middle of talking with it, my head became its penis. This bird spoke to me in bird language and I learned its language.

The reconstructed skeleton of the BirdMan has a human head and a bird head. What does it see? Birds, highly visual creatures, can recognize 200 frames per second, and some birds have multi-foveae, while humans have only one. The fovea is a small depression in the retina of the eye where visual acuity is highest. Birds have a wider rage of sight than humans. How does 'BirdMan's brain synthesize two kinds of perception?

Imagining a perceptual mixture of a human and a bird eye, I made an emulator to approximate Birdman’s method of seeing. The machine eye, mimicking the characteristics of a bird eye and a human eye, moves vertically and horizontally and takes the role of an interface selecting and playing one of the recorded video clips about BirdMan’s memory. I expect to realize ‘Digital Autopoiesis (auto-creation)’ representing both real-time perception and stored memory simultaneously. More information in http://banggoo.com/I_did/birdman.htm

Work metadata

Want to see more?
Take full advantage of the ArtBase by Becoming a Member
Related works

Comments

This artwork has no comments. You should add one!
Leave a Comment