Annie Dunning
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pigeons in basket, pre-flight flutes flutes
flutes aerial aerial aerial
aerial aerial aerial
pigeon poster installation view re-broadcast
Air Time
2007
Air Time is an attempted musical collaboration with pigeons. I have built instruments based on the historic model of Chinese pigeon flutes. These flutes are lightweight, usually made of bamboo or gourds, and attach to the tail feathers of pigeons. As the pigeons fly, the air passes over the flutes’ apertures creating sound. In its final form, Air Time is an installation with a video projection and the soundtrack of the pigeons playing the flutes, digital photos, my handmade flutes, a sculpture and a poster.

Pigeons are one of many creatures that have been named ‘cultural followers’ by scientists because of their ability to thrive in a human environment. I would like to build on this term and suggest that they are also cultural contributors. Air Time offers a different look at urban wildlife and the potential that co-habitation offers for innovation. At the same time, it acts as a reminder that the extraordinary can be done with ordinary things and a little ingenuity.