Priscilla Bracks, Gavin Sade: e Menura superba

  • ©, Priscilla Bracks and Gavin Sade, e Menura superba


    e Menura superba

Artist(s) and People Involved:



Artist Statement:

    e. Menura supurba is an interactive artwork that explores the paradox between our fascination with the exotic, and our potentially dystopic future devoid of many animal species. The work hybridises seventeenth to early twentieth century aesthetics with refined post-consumer waste materials, to create a simulacra of a Lyre bird. The Australian Lyre bird (initially designated Menura superba) have the remarkable ability to mimic sounds, giving it one of the most complex calls of any bird. The male uses these calls to attract a mate. Lyre birds have been documented mimicking camera shutters, flute and piano melodies, even chain saws. In this work a repertoire of calls are used to attract an audience, inviting people to come closer, and inspect patterns in the bird’s intricate plastic plumage, which is back lit by an array of 35 tri-colour LEDs. This Lyre bird is also attracted by colour, mimicking not only sound, but also altering its plumage colour to reflect those worn by the audience it attracts. Face recognition software enables the work to recognize people, move the bird’s head to track their movement in the room, and record clothing colours for inclusion in its ever-expanding repertoire of plumage displays. Video and artists statement: