Swan Song

Awarded a Fat Cat Fab Lab Maker Residency for April-June, 2023

For the past year, we have been working on a series of projects that examine the phenomena of glass collisions among migratory birds in NYC. Alongside conservation scientists, we are collecting the bodies of individual songbirds who died in collisions with glass windows, 3D scanning them, and reincarnating them out of the material that killed them. We exhibited an early version of this project at the Under Over Through show at New Lab last summer. We now have the opportunity to continue developing this work into a solo show taking place on Govorner’s Island this summer. We are searching for funds and resources to make new pieces that are truly awesome.

Humans have been mesmerized by birds for centuries, making them the star of myths and folklore in every culture. Now they are often overlooked. Every morning birds who collide with buildings are swept off the streets, leaving no trace of the impactful event that just happened. During the Fat Cat residency, we’ll create human-sized bird sculptures assembled of 3D-printed parts. An accompanying AR piece will hint at future myths, creating a mesmerizing experience of multispecies worldbuilding.

Drawing on Governers Island’s relationship to the sea and indigenous heritage, as well as Fat Cat Lab’s commitment to forming a creative community, we’ll weave together stories that illustrate the past, present, and future entanglements of the creatures of the air and earth (birds and humans). We’ll continue to develop our process of scanning and printing glass collision victims, to reincarnate them from different materials of the urban environment. We’ll develop AR animations that reference scientific myths that were upheld as fact until bird migration was discovered only 200 years ago. For example, Aristotle’s theories of transmutation in birds, or Olaus Magnus’s declaration that Swallows hibernate underwater for the winter. These stories and more hint at the mystique surrounding these strange yet familiar creatures.

Stay tuned @leslieandgal or check us out at https://leslieandgal.com

Financé par New York City, NY (March 2023)