Monday, January 18, 2010

Murmur: bird flocks captured in photos

Richard Barnes isn't the typical bird photographer by any means. He doesn't focus solely on the birds. One of his collections, Refuge, features bird nests made with human trash. His online bio says:
Recent exhibitions include Phylum and Refuge, which looked at the hybrid architecture of a collection of bird nests constructed of materials we humans throw away. In this borrowing process the detritus of our lives: Christmas tinsel, hair, dental floss, etc., become the building materials for birds. The nests hover ambiguously, between the natural and the artificial.
Eleven images appear here.

An exhibition titled Murmur followed those images. In 11 images here, Barnes shows the beauty of aerial flocks.

Jonathan Rosen, author of "The Life of the Skies: Birding at end of nature" (2008), wrote about Barnes' work and birds' flight patterns here.
In Europe, where the birds are native — Mozart had a pet starling that could sing a few bars of his piano concerto in G major — they still have the power to turn heads. Each fall and winter, vast flocks gather in Rome. They spend the day foraging in the surrounding countryside but return each evening to roost. (Rachel Carson, author of “Silent Spring,” called the birds reverse commuters.) They put on breathtaking aerial displays above the city, banking in nervous unison, responding like a school of fish to each tremor inside the group.

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