Last Sunday I tested a video piece idea, the visual outcome was as I intended , but there is a lot I need to learn about audio recording. The piece will be re-recorded applying a professional microphone, and if it possible will take place on a less windy day.

The work was partially inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s  Duino Elegy, especially the Eighth Elegy and partially by the film Blade Runner.

Both the poem and the film questions our relations to the natural world. Rilke’s poem points toward the ways in which we placed ourselves outside of life and the affects of this attitude on our psyche, while the film and especially the Phillip K. Dick book ( Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep) focuses on the consequences of human actions, mainly the mass extinction of lifeforms. The below quote from the film seems very pertinent for the piece and for the times we live in.


Do you like our owl?

It’s artificial?

Of course it is.

Must be expensive.


I came across a pair of beautiful robotic birds in a charity shop  moths ago, and found the idea of placing them in a natural setting to have a beautiful melancholy.

I did the shoot in Tottenham Cemetery, which I visit often and am familiar with its burgeoning wildlife.


After attaching the birds to a tree I set up the camera and left it there for about 45 minutes. The footage is what I was looking for with the local (real) birds conversing with the fake ones. Unfortunately the sound quality is appalling due to the windy conditions. Next step is to learn some audio editing skills and re-record the piece.

Here is a short example of the footage:


Monika Tobel