HTTP Gallery is pleased to present Urban Eyes, an intermedia project by Marcus Kirsch and Jussi Angesleva. Urban Eyes uses wireless technology, bird seeds and city pigeons to reconnect urban dwellers with their surroundings.
The Urban Eyes feeding platform stands in one of London’s public spaces. By landing on the platform, pigeons tagged with RFID chips send aerial photographs of their locality to surrounding Bluetooth-enabled devices. In this work pigeons become maverick messengers in the information super-highway, fusing feral and digital networks. HTTP Gallery provides an interface to the project, mixing live and documentary footage and offering visitors an opportunity to experiment with Bluetooth.
Being one of the last remaining signs of nature in a metropolis such as London, the urban pigeon population represents a network of ever-changing patterns more complex than anything ever produced by a machine. However, pigeons’ movements are based on a one-mile radius around their nest. Any pigeon you see every day shares the same turf as you. Urban Eyes crosses and expands human mobility patterns offering to reconnect you with your neighbourhood.
In the 1960s, situationists Debord and Jorn composed psycho-geographic diagrams of Paris, which described navigational systems based on their drift through the city. For this, they used Blondel la Rougery’s Plan de Paris a vol d’oiseau, a birds-eye map of Paris. Inspired by this methodology, Urban Eyes enlists our feathered neighbours to establish a connection between this view of the city as now distributed by Google Earth and our terrestrial experience.
About Marcus Kirsch and Jussi Angesleva
Marcus Kirsch holds an MA in Interaction Design from the Royal College of Art. He was invited to the 2004 Seoul Biennale and as exhibiting artist and to last year’s Rotterdam International Film Festival and DEAF Festival. He was awarded a silver Art Directors Club NY and a fusedspace.com award in collaboration with Jussi for ‘Urban Eyes’.
Jussi Angesleva holds MA in Audio Visual Media Culture from the University of Lapland in Finland, and MA in Interaction Design from the Royal College of Art and has shown at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Siggraph, ZKM and Science Museum London. He has received awards from the Royal Society of Arts, NESTA, D & AD (together with Ross Cooper), Prix Ars Electronica and the Art Directors Club of Europe. He is currently working at ART+COM in Berlin, Germany and is a co-founder of the new media agency Prosopon.