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What is it like to be a bird?

In a small birdhouse, birdsong is slowed down to human speed, mimicked and sped back up to a bird’s pace, allowing visitors to sing like a bird.

Ever since he was a child, artitst Thijs van Vuure has been fascinated by birds. For a long time now, he has been wandering what it would be like to be a bird. His installation What Is It Like to Be a Bird? tries to give a concrete answer to this question, at least for one aspect of being a bird: singing.

The project is an attempt to blur the boundaries between human-being and bird-being and a study of the consciousness of birds from a human perspective. The fundamental idea is that birds perceive time in a different way: their life cycle is shorter, their movements are faster, and their heartbeat has a higher frequency. Birds live faster, one could say. That’s why the songs of various songbirds are slowed down and played back. In a small birdhouse, the audience can mimic these slowed-down recordings, after which their singing is sped up, back to the original “bird speed.” The resulting “human bird speech” is filmed and shown on a screen next to the birdhouse.

Project details

Year of development :2011
Created by:Thijs van Vuure
Full project credits