Wind-up Bird(s), a flock of electronic woodpeckers

Wind-up Bird(s)

Deep in the forest, something is subverting the natural order of nature. HC Gilje’s Wind-up Bird(s) is a flock of electronic / mechanical woodpeckers mounted high in the trees of Lillehammer forest, Norway. Each unit tapping out a sound like a real woodpecker. Networked through wireless modems, the units react to each other and encourage the ‘real life’ woodpeckers to join in. Wind-up Bird(s), was part of UT-21 polish norwegian art project, exploring the environment. The mechanical birds strip away our notion of birds to the strongest element that remains in our conciousness: their sound. How does the digital and the biological manage this relationship? The birds become a part of the acoustic community and within no time, there is dialogue between the two. The aim of UT-21 is to create ‘interventionist art’ that attempts to derail the natural flow of the environment. For a moment this happens with Wind-up Bird(s), but in no time at all nature has adapted more quickly than the machines.

Mark Hancock