Bird Mountain

Architecture for the more than human
Investigating the nature-culture dichotomy through sculptural interventions. Were nature and urban space meets, sculpture as a mediating strategy.

This PhD project situates itself at the junction where nature and urban spaces meet. One example is the meeting between a critically endangered species, Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) and the town of Tromsø. The kittiwake is a cliff breeding seagull usually associated with windswept bird mountains far from human populations. These birds have begun to nest on building facades in Tromsø. The breeding seagulls are stirring conflict with other inhabitants, with their noise, odour and the “matter out of place” they generate.

My methodology relies on the collection of visual and spatial data using digital imaging and spatial data recording techniques. The data will be archived and combined with relevant research and input from a host of collaborators. I will further use computer assisted production tools to develop objects and sculptural interventions. Both as functional objects and sculptural objects related to specific cases, for example, the Kittiwakes. The use of digital data and computer assisted tools also opens the possibility to work, share, collaborate and produce globally, while keeping the material output connected to local material streams and ecology.

The project investigates if artistic practices share some characteristics with pre- scientific knowledge making, storage and transfer. I will use TEK (traditional ecological knowledge) to con- tain and connect this investigation with other fields, such as environmental humanities. TEK is

characterised by its informal nature, often gathered and passed thru storytelling, craft-based prac- tices or other communal activities. This knowledge is usually highly context sensitive and often contained in implicit or tacit forms. And thus, share important characteristics with many types of artistic expression that escapes the written word and other forms of formalized knowledge.

My question becomes, can sculptural interventions in conjunction with notions of silent knowledge address and expand on our view of the nature-culture divide. especially where nature and urban space meets in complex decision making processes?