A heartwarming feeling | Zhao Renhui

Reported by Wendy.

Possibly the most intriguing work for me at the Art Stage. And by a Singaporean artist too. A heartwarming feeling indeed! 🙂

Text from Institute of Critical Zoologists:

“On January 2008, I collaborated with the Yamshina Institute for Ornithology (a regional expert in bird banding) in an attempt to document this phenomenon during an artist residency. A group of a few thousand migratory birds were banded by the Institute over the course of two months. Besides banding the birds with a metal band on their legs, I included a small pin-hole camera near each band. Inside each camera was a very small sheet of positive photographic paper of extremely low sensitivity. The pin-hole exposed the image directly onto the paper, and allows for a positive image to be formed as long as there was light going through the pin-hole. The thousands of little pin-hole cameras were made with the help of a group of local school children.
On June 2010, 50 of the birds were dead found in the Arctic Circle. 30 of the birds still had their cameras intact and 12 of the cameras actually created an image of the bird’s rather confused migratory journey to the Arctic. “

Zhao Renhui on A heartwarming feeling

#121, after 321 days, Pin-hole camera by Okuro Oikawa. Actual size : 1.1cmx 0.7cm

Climate change has significant impact on birds. It can alter distribution, abundance and behavior. It can also affect events like bird migration.

Migration times are shifting and birds which are slow to change fail to migrate altogether.

We still know very little of how birds navigate and migrate over long distances. A recent phenomenon in the Arctic Circle is the emergence of mass bird graves. It seems as if different species of migrating birds due for the south has been flying the opposite direction, in an apparent act of suicide. Very little research has been done on this phenomenon.

Scientists argue that global warming might be a cause of this but has yet to show evidence of how this might be linked. One popular theory says that the melting of the ice caps might have affected the earth’s magnetic field, something which the birds might have been using for navigation. Many critics dispute this claim and scientists are still looking for an explanation for this phenomenon.

www.criticalzoologists.org/heartwarming

#243, after 321 days. A bird that was carrying a small pin-hole camera (1.21cm x 0.7cm) made by Tomimaru Okuni tied to its feet while the bird was in Japan. The bird and the camera were later retrieved from the Arctic Circlc after 321 days.

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