bird is the word (nine days to Martha)



I started working on a bird is the word video back in the winter of 2015, after visiting Martha in August of that year, while she was on display as part of the Smithsonian’s exhibition Once There Were Billions: Vanishing Birds of North America. There were many reasons why that video never got finished. And there are many reasons why this past winter I felt I had to return to it.

During the past few months I’ve enjoyed and appreciated the slow and labour intensive process of video editing this piece. It has offered me space to be with feelings of loss and beauty … to listen once again to what is heard and not heard … to think about the pace and rhythms of daily life. It has reminded me of how much there is to experience and re-experience. And how much there is still to learn.

On this first day of spring, it feels good to finally post and share what has become bird is the word (nine days to Martha). This video is 19 min. 17 sec. in length.   


 (March 20, 2019)


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a frail history website image #2

a frail history: thirteen poems disguised as a passage



The text for a frail history: thirteen poems disguised as a passage was written on March 26th, 2014 for Ectopistes migratorius (the now extinct passenger pigeon).

Martha, who was the last surviving passenger pigeon, died on September 1st, 1914 in her cage at the Cincinnati Zoo. After her death she was packed in a block of ice and shipped to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. where she now resides (if you can call it that).

The photographs I used for this bookwork were taken at Athabasca Glacier in August 2014, during a three-day return trip to be in slow conversation with that deep and quickly melting ice.


(Tuesday, April 14th, 2015)


a frail history website image #6



a frail history: thirteen poems disguised as a passage is a pair of white cotton gloves & a hand bound bookwork. The approximate dimensions for this bookwork are 10.16 cm X 48.26 cm X 4.445 cm (4″ x 19″ x 1.75″).

More images, as well as excerpts from the poems, can be found on the page/post for a frail history: thirteen poems disguised as a passage



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she tastes, she stumbles, she barely remembers / she ponders, she listens, she wanders, she wonders … she rambles, she scrambles, she whispers, she blurts … she weaves, she unravels … she retells a story … she inhales, she exhales, she sputters, she coughs … she wraps, she folds, she carries, she holds / she aches, she breaks, she hums, she heals … she trusts, she builds, she taps, she types … she shouts, she cheers, she can’t really whistle … she rewrites, she repeats, she starts out a new …


(An excerpt from one of the furoshiki in FUROSHIKI PROJECT, an installation created in 2002.)