An iteration. When asked to make an installation for the Neuhaus exhibition at ‘Het Nieuwe Instituut’, I opted to go for an iteration of the Pigeon Predictions project. This project was the reason for me be being asked to exhibit there anyway.
Whereas during the precursory project I gave form to my design through a book, and a municipal advice report wherein I reflected on a would-be software suite named 'Pigeon Predictions', I now had to design something more tailored to the short-lived interaction in an exhibition context. Not requiring extensive background knowledge, being intended for academia, nor one specifically targeted at municipal policy makers. Seeking a different balance between that which I wanted and could convey, and materialised narrative. I decided to mainly focus on the Pigeon Predictions software itself. Bringing the would-be Pigeon Predictions, to life.
Within the aesthetic and material requirements of the general exhibition (think: new way of learning, building, school, discovery, research),
I opted for a simple setup. Truly a stand. Mainly focussing on crafting and combining elements in a more literal narrative kind of way, while aesthetically focussing on dimensions, proportions and colours. Making a reference to a command hub style interface, placing a pigeon in context, and knitting it all together with some text.
The digital interface consisted out of a 15 minute seamless loop. Intended to give the impression of realtime tracking and prediction in the city center of Rotterdam. It displayed the general software interface, and a grapher displaying metrics; ranging from very real, to plausible, to definitely having an effect but being unmeasurable. At times the interface would zoom in on a prediction event, showing the pigeon patterns as they unfolded. On top of it all, an overlay would sporadicly popup, displaying a promo of the Pigeon Predictions software, with the intention of providing visual backing to the concept of pigeon patterns. Pigeons sitting in-line on a roof ledge, for instance, or pigeons chasing each other as a part of their mating habits. This was done to give the user an understanding of interesting and sourceable pigeon patterns within a given context, since this notion turned out to be rather abstract without. The aesthetic of the popup was more research like / hacky. This was done to provide contrast with the sleek, Silicon Valley like aesthetics of the software itself. Thereby framing the entire thing to be still in research / implementation phase and fitting to the exhibition.
A stuffed rock pigeon, more commonly known as the feral or ‘city pigeon’, was fitted with a Smart Pigeon Ring and mounted on a typical pavement slab. The slab sported chewing gum and pigeon excrement. The setup was intended to make the software feel more ‘real’ and place the pigeon in the intended context; urban, dirty, nuisance, etc.. To be perceived as a common city pigeon, with all its associations. Not as a romantic dove.
Metaphorically, together with and within its transparent container, it fitted well with it being an abstracted, contained piece of city / nature.
The introduction / museum label was used to knit it all together. Framing the project, software and pigeon. Giving a vague description of the project and what it represented, but mainly providing a tone of voice and way to look at the pigeon. It was displayed as a label on the wall next to the installation, as well as in a smaller, more condensed version, to the side of the interface.