April 4th, 2007
This project runs from April 2007 to November 2008 with fieldwork taking place in the Kimberley between August and December 2007 and October 2008. The residency is based at the SymbioticA art and science laboratory at The University of Western Australia. It is funded by the Australia Council Inter Arts program. Activities in the project will be blogged on this page.
The residency will research aspects of the collection of objects by male great bowerbirds and the vocalisations performed as part of their mating displays. The great bowerbird is found across the tropical savannas of northern Australian. In common with related bowerbird species the male great bowerbird builds an avenue of twigs and collects stones, bones, shells and human-made objects that it places in piles at each end of the avenue. The two heaps and the avenue in between thus make up the bower.
The primary function of the bower is as a display space for the male to exhibit its evolutionary fitness to the female. The male performs for the female by posturing and dancing and by taking up the collected objects in …