Birds on a Wire: Latah Creek
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There’s a creek by my house with a power line going over it. Pigeons sit on this wire. Sometimes the space between them is fairly regular and sometimes it varies. Sometimes it looks like a normal distribution (bell curve), sometimes not. Some researchers think the distance between birds is similar to the notion of personal space in people. I became interested in representing this “inter-bird interval” in a way other than with just a photo. This is what I ended up with. Please make sure your speakers are on. Over the last two years I've taken dozens of photos of the birds on this wire. Eventually I hope to “play” them in chronological order, with different instruments.

On one occasion I was questioned by the Highway Patrol while in the act of photographing the birds on this wire. When the trooper asked me what I was doing, I briefly explained my interest in sonifying the inter-bird intervals. She was neither curious nor amused and told me that she was interested in the Patriot Act and its Homeland Security Provisions. This time I was amused and laughed. Still not amused and even more gruff, she said, "I...am...serious". So I did my best 4th grade boy in trouble imitation and gave her all my vital statistics, including my web page address. As she walked back to her patrol car, she stopped, looked back, and said, " I guess I can't cite you for a traffic violation because this is not a controlled access highway". She seemed disappointed. Still, I hope she logs in to see the inrter-bird interval results.

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