Instinct Extinct
The Great Pacific Flyway

Flooded Rice Field, Olivehurst, CA, 2015       

Bird migration is the one truly unifying natural phenomenon in the world, stitching the continents
together in a way that even the great weather systems, which roar out from the poles but fizzle at the equator,
fail to do. It is an enormously complex subject, perhaps the most compelling drama in all of natural history.

-- Scott Weidensaul
Living on the Wind: Across the Hemispheres with Migratory Birds


The exhibition Instinct Extinct: The Great Pacific Flyway was conceived of and created in collaboration with artists Ann Savageau and Glenda Drew. It evolved in response to our mutual appreciation for migratory birds, concerns for the survival and determinatino to preserve open space.

With our emphasis on migratory species that traverse California's borders, we explored a number of sanctuaries throughout the state. Reciprocal observations and research merged with our independent ways of working, generating cross-disciplinary strategies and overarching themes including avian anatomy, avian flight and navigatin biomechanics, biodiversity, and political ecology. Artworks were made both collaboratively and individually.

My essay of the same title offers an overview of our research and tracks the creative and speculative processes of the exhibition's artworks.
A PDF document of the essay can be accessed HERE.
A revised version was published in Leonardo Journal, Volume 52, Number 1, 2019.



Syrinx Box, assemblage with audio composition of wild-sourced
birdsong combined with recordings from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library (including: Clock, Benjamin M., Black-chinned Sparrow, California Towhee, Keller, Geoffrey A. Black Phoebe, Little, Randolph S.,
Wilson’s Warbler, Marantz, Curtis A., California Thrasher, Sander, Thomas G., Black-headed Grosbeak, Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler), 2015


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