Project: Augmented Bird Box

Zoe Sadokierski and Andrew Burrell, with Thom Van Doreen, Katie Dean and Timo Rissanen

This project is part of the larger Urban Field Naturalists' Guide to Lesser Known Pollinators

Augmented Bird Box - Augmentation Layer

Inspired by Joseph Cornell's assemblages, this 'augmented bird box' tells the story of the Regent honeyeater, a critically endangered Australian bird which was once prolific from Adelaide to northern Queensland, but due to deforestation and land clearing is now restricted to three small patches of ironbark woodland in NSW and VIC. At last count, there were 200-400 birds left in the wild; that count was before the bushfire season of 2019 devastated much of the remaining habitat. A layered paper collage visualises the Regent honeyeater within the ecosystem it depends upon. Zoë drew each layer from contemporary photographs, then collaged the scene using pieces of 19th Century natural history illustrations. ​Overlaying the bird box, and extending into the physical exhibition space, is an augmented audio-visual experience, ​accessed via a smart phone. ​Andrew designed this augmentation, which features a narrative written and read by Thom van Dooren about the impact of the 2019 bushfires on the already diminishing eucalyptus forests this species depends upon for survival. The hypnotic pattern on the back is designed by Katie Dean. A second audio channel behind the box plays a recording of Zoe and Timo Rissanen discussing their visits to the captive Regent honeyeaters at Taronga Zoo.

Augmented Bird Box - Collaging Process.

Augmented Bird Box - Zones of Interaction