Birds Nest Evanston
Jan-Erik Andersson and Shawn Decker have been working collaboratively since 1996. The Bird’s Nest sequence is their most recent collaboration, and their most ambitious. Beginning in 2001, these site-specific sculptural works have been installed in a variety of locations, including public spaces – outdoor and indoor cafes, and the grounds of a public arts center – and museums and galleries. The Bird’s Nest explores new ways of developing architecture based on forms found in nature – a long-standing interest of Andersson’s. These forms are combined with kinetic sound works that are likewise derived directly from natural processes – an important element of Decker’s sound installation work. The artists see these acoustic and kinetic elements as functioning within the context of architecture as a kind of ornamentation, broadening of the concept of the “ornament” to include sound and rhythm.
A Bird’s Nest was be installed on the grounds of the Evanston Art Center, in Evanston, IL, in June 2007 and remained there for one year as part of the Evanston Art Center's Sculpture on the Grounds series. The main building of the art center (a neo arts and crafts building from 1920) with long and ornate chimneys inspired Andersson to alter the design of the nest – to echo both the site’s architecture and the striking design of nests formed by the Weaver Bird (Europe) or the Oriole (America). It is also the biggest nest so far, being built by around 350 wooden triangles and rising up to 5 meters. The sound is produced in much the same manner as the Turku Nest – using small speakers (weatherproofed) and microcontrollers distributed throughout the nest structure. Extensive test were done by freezing the speakers to see if the speakers can stand the changing weather conditions in Chicago during the wintertime.
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