Joe Dahmen

Pigeons observes Boston Common from the point of view of its avian inhabitants. The piece investigates the relationship of pigeons to the urban environment through video captured while wearing a special birdseed-covered suit. Interactions with pigeons recorded by the cameras installed on the suit and an external observer form the basis of a short video documenting the piece.

Thriving where humans live in greatest density, pigeons are often considered a public nuisance. Although they are marginalized and at best ignored by the other inhabitants of a city, the behavior of pigeons can be read as a curious reflection of—and commentary on—the urban environment. The piece seeks to reverse the common treatment of pigeons, acknowledging their status as residents while attempting to learn about the city from them.

Pigeons was conceived and developed in the Interrogative Design Workshop at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies / MIT during fall 2005.

Photography and site design by Amber Frid-Jimenez