Micro Intervention: Put a Bird In It

Portlandia, a 6-part short-based comedy a la Kids in the Hall delivers a funny yet biting critique of detached consumer art in their sketch: Put a Bird on It ( http: www.putabirdonit.com ). In it, detached hipsters discuss design and approach nature from the standpoint of dysfunctional aesthetic obsession. This is reflected in both their personal relationship as well as their relationship with the actual wildlife whose image they promote. Hilarity ensues.

We look to recognize those that represent the counterpoint to the caterwaul of the often self-ordained and always self-possessed aesthete. We admire those that carry out the idea of bottom up, community based art and design that allows for the confluence of environmental enhancement, art, and civic engagement. Without fanfare and ornament organizations such as the Canal Nest Colony turn a simple goal of building and installing bird and bat houses into an effort that address all of those efforts simultaneously.

Partnered with the Gowanus Canal Conservency (GCC), the Canal Nest Colony is a The Canal Nest Colony is a "multi-disciplinary design effort to encourage human-nature interaction, plant and animal biodiversity, and highlight the diverse ecosystem potential of the of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, New York."

From the GCC website, we learn that "the 1.8 mile long Gowanus Canal was created in the mid-late 1800s on the site of a former saltmarsh and creek and has seen its fair share of environmental issues. For years, it has captured raw sewage waste from adjacent residential neighborhoods, industrial waste products from the businesses located along its banks, and polluted surface run off. At the same time, the canal is dotted with structures and bridges that celebrate its important industrial history and is home to egrets, cormorans, and other forms of wildlife. Currently, the area is filled with small industries, businesses, homes and artists’ studios and is slated for rezoning by the City as well as being considered for potential Superfund status."

All images courtesy of Andrew Nicholas, www.thiscityismine.com, except for Portlandia image courtesy of

No comments:

Post a Comment