Installation: Live finches, cage, pitch theremin, speakers
A pair of zebra finches interact with a pitch theremin instrument while situated in a cage. The instrument, being the center of the birds’ home, becomes an encroaching presence that the birds realize can be manipulated over time. Over the course of the exhibition, the birds change the pitch with the placement of their bodies, while harmonizing with the instrument by matching their chirps with its pitch.
The title is based on the Navajo creation story of the hero twins, who fought the monsters who were terrorizing the Dine’ people. In the days after 9/11, I was thinking often of how one (or a group of people) force themselves to harmonize with an encroaching presence while in the position of defense. When backed into a corner, what choreography of response is unconscious reaction, and what is self-determined. What can one do so that their defense is not perceived as aggression and can the presence of the smaller bodies interrupt the invasive force?