Clint Wilson

Generelle Morphologie, 2001

Dancing Aviary. The installations central metaphor is a field of bird specimens that are set into rhythmic, artificial flight. The flock is comprised of a small species of avian study skins from an institutional collection of comparative zoology. Suspended from guy wires over a field of tripod mounted fans (wind machines), these cotton eyed birds swing in slow circlular flight with their accession tags flapping about in tow. Their motion is accompanied by an n array of sounds and vocalizations emanating at floor level from a network of speakers. Digitally altered from sources such as environmental sound tracks and human song, the sound field emanates a shifting, randomly generated chorus of sound bites that suggest the ebb and flow of an ecological community recorded close at hand. Beneath the performance, a river of approximately 1000 feet of copper wire rests upon the floor, forming a large diagram of a tree as it feeds power to the speakers and fans.

Circular Morphology. Printed tree metaphors on the walls around this central performance are mounted as a series of archival bookplates in museum frames. Based on the pioneering text, Generelle Morphologie, by the nineteenth century German biologist Ernst Haeckel, these prints are circular phylogenic diagrams that trace an imaginary genealogy of animal evolution. They are endlessly repeating morphological mandalas...fictional texts that become the musical notes or libretto for the macabre performance occurring around them.