Winnipeg Artist Erika Lincoln Looks at Urban Birds in WAG Exhibition

Winnipeg electronic artist Erika Lincoln has long been fascinated by how urban birds incorporate the sounds of the city—car horns, mobile phone rings, traffic crossing signals—into their repertoire of songs, creating a hybrid call. Lincoln explores this further in a new exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Erika Lincoln: The Singing Condition will have a free public opening at 7pm on Thursday, March 31. It continues at the WAG until June 12.

The Singing Condition presents an electronic manifestation of bird culture, one that adapts and adjusts to the ubiquitous presence of technology in a similar mode to that which we humans are experiencing in a simultaneous fashion,” says Mary Reid, Curator of Contemporary Art and Photography. “This exhibition does not intend to any offer answers or create any political position. Instead it brings to light how other living creatures are inhabiting the urban space which we have created to house our own technological advances.

One of the central works in the exhibition consists of a flock of mechanical birds who “sing” to each other by the action of a motor randomly levering their beaks. Another work in the show relies upon visitor interaction—a mechanism that spins nests based on movements made by visitors in the exhibition space. Each nest incorporates plastics, yarns, and bits of metal, mimicking Lincoln’s observations of birds using different types of man-made material to build their nests. An entire set of nests will be created over the run of the exhibition, providing a visual trace of visitors’ involvement.

Related Programs
Artist Talk • Thurs, April 28, 7pm
Exhibition Tour • Wed, April 6, 12:10pm • with Mary Reid, Curator of Contemporary Art and Photography
Urban Birdwatching Excursion • Sat, April 30, 9:15am • with birding expert Rudolf Koes • details at wag.ca • call 789.0578 to register
 

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