Jung Hsu

Save a dying bird?

Artistic research project, 2023
Jung Hsu

Photo credit: Steffi

Fake bird, dead bird, cliche story.
Human guilt, animal labor, escape from the coal mine.
From extractivism to anthropomorphism.
A functional cage designed to keep alive.

Yellow singing sensor, with little heart vibrates.
Breed for man, sing for man, work for man, die for man.
Too late for shame, too late to save.
I sing a song I learned from the bird,
I sing it badly, I sing it fake.
Slower what bird sing
Speedup what I sing.
It's not a warning, it's not a sign.
I sing for guilt, and only for guilt.
The bird had died.

Fake bird, wax bird, candle bird.
Melting in a shitty glass box, and melting for visual impact.
Expose my cheesy feeling and the cheap chicken bones inside.
18 hot wings have been eaten last night
Just not worth it.
Extract the feelings, and through them aside.

In the 18th, coal miners took canaries into mine veins, using its sensitivity to air quality as an early warning of gas leaks or lack of oxygen. But the miners felt guilty for watching the canaries sacrifice their lives for the miners' retreat. From the changes in the relationship between the miners and the canaries, I can relate it to the shift in human orientation towards nature. The transformation from resource-extracting objects to anthropomorphic sympathetic objects. Which is also like the stance of current human society on environmental protection. We feels guilty for what we did in the past, and then try to save and compensate. But is it too late? The wax canary figurine melted under heat lamps to reveal its skeleton. It's not alive, it's dead. Beeswax preserves its image, like human beings trying to preserve nature, but a part of nature has already died in time.

© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Water always flows to a lower place.
The rich crawled to the peak of gold.
Canary sings but no one listens.
Hard breath, hardly breathing.

Along the golden river bank, there’re millions and more underneath.
We’re in a rush.
Cleaning our hands in the stream of data then flush the rest to the lower course.
Accelerated to drain the value out of nature,
to build, embracing a new era of symbols exchange.

How far we are away from apes society?
Politics is just how we define the order of nature.
The strong occupy, and the vulnerable unite and fight back.
Centralized and decentralized, isn’t it just the swing along with the history?
Where is the destination of the water?
Could we still find something new?

-A thinking of value, 2022