Shawn L. Decker, Jan-Erik Andersson: Bird’s Nest Cafe

  • ©, Shawn L. Decker and Jan-Erik Andersson, Bird's Nest Cafe

Artist Statement:


    In Bird’s Nest Cafe, a large structure modelled after a bird’s nest and containing a sound environment is placed within a public space. This nest provides a sheltered site for sitting, talking, eating, and other communal activities.

    The nest is constructed from many simple triangular modules, making it partly transparent. Instead of using modules to create an organized building the modules are used to make an organic, seemingly chaotic, structure, this construction allows it to create its own space but also allows the surrounding environment to be a part of the experience through the openings between the sticks. Integral to the nest is a sound environment which contains large amounts of detail, variation, and “natural rhythms” which are missing in modern buildings and urban existence.

    The sound environment is created entirely from physical means [piano wire, motors, etc.), which, instead of using speakers, uses the physical structure of the nest itself as a resonant body (Like the sounding board in a piano). The motors are activated by a computer program which incorporates indeterminacy, 1/f noise, Brownian noise, and other patterns taken from nature. The sounds can be seen to function as a kind of architectural ornament which functions as an integral part of the structure in an analogous way to the architecture – creating its own sonic space but at the same time allowing the surrounding environment to be a part of the experience. Tables and chairs from the nearby cafe are placed inside the nest for visitors to enjoy.


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