|found objects, wire, galvanized pipe, branches, springs, passing birds|
|This drawing machine lets the birds generate the drawings.
Pencils are attached to wire pieces, sprung within a framework, ending in small attached branches. As the birds go about their exploring and feeding, landing and sitting on the branches, they move the pencils about and create their drawings.
|(additional drawing machines may be seen here.)|
|The first birds to arrive and fully explore the new contraption in the neighborhood were the Juncos (Junco hyemalis oreganus), the 'Oregon Group' of the Dark-eyed Junco (which I still end up calling the 'Oregon Junco' because that's what it was called, and how I learned its name, when I was a kid).|
|The machine is just over six feet tall.
The branches are sidled up to a feeder so there's a bit more reason for the birds to participate.
|It requires a fairly soft lead to get much in the way of a drawing. Some early tests came out very light - appropriate for a drawing by a bird I thought, but not much to see for their faintness of mark.|
|The first couple tests and initial drawings featured juncos, house finches, one scrub jay and the occasional acorn woodpecker (the woodpeckers never touched the machine, just swooped in with a flare, scattered the finches, and ate their fill at the feeder). The most active and seemingly fearless participants were the juncos, sometimes in pairs, often in whole groups.|
|One of the initial drawings
02 February 2009
|video of the proceedings|
|the sound of the drawings|
|The drawings looked like scores to me, reminiscent of John Cage.
After a bit of looking about I came across this wonderful site that features the vOICe Java applet/application that was written by Peter B.L. Meijer (the potential uses for this tool are remarkable). The basic application allows for the translation of a graphic image into sound.
|After a few adjustments to frequency, to get the range into that of a typical bird song, and duration, the results were then run through an audio program to clean up hiss and adjust amplitude.|
|[This next section should use your computer's resident audio player to display & play embedded mp3 files.]|
|This is the resultant sound of the drawing from 01 February 2009
two juncos (1 male & 1 female)
|if no player appears you might try this link to play or download the file > play drawing 1|
|This is the sound of the drawing from 02 February 2009
various juncos (male & female), two house finches (1 male, 1 female), and one scrub jay (male)
|if no player appears you might try this link to play or download the file > play drawing 2|