Included in the 2019 Spring Seasonal Art Installations at The Torpedo Factory, Fly/Away references the location of Alexandria within The Great Atlantic Migratory Bird Flyway. Encircling the Third Floor Smoke Stack, this project incorporates fabric, rope, river rocks, a sound-activated 22k gilded mechanical bird and vintage bird cage, with continuously looped, dual video projections. As part of the Art in Common Spaces Program, Fly/Away is intended to engage audience members with an interactive experience of sight, sound and movement.
Spring marks the transition between winter and summer, when days becomes longer and temperatures rise. Birds that nest in our Northern Hemisphere tend to migrate northward in the spring to take advantage of burgeoning insect populations, budding plants and an abundance of nesting locations. Part of this movement occurs over the Torpedo Factory, as it is centrally located within the bird travel route known as the Great Atlantic Flyway. This path stretches from the eastern Arctic Islands in the north, to the areas surrounding the Gulf of Mexico in the south. Residing between the Appalachian Mountains in the west and the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the east, the route is used by birds due to its relative lack of blockades. The migration route narrows considerably beginning at the state of Virginia, where it provides good sources of water, food, and cover for numerous bird species. The Atlantic Flyway encompasses some of the hemisphere’s most productive ecosystems, including forests, beaches, and coastal wetland, as well as more than a third of the people in the United States. The installation Fly/Away is intended to showcase the oft unseen and sometimes ignored natural phenomenon of this annual local bird migration. My idea for the project hinges on the perception of sublime immanence: of beauty present in the hidden, in the humble, small and ephemeral.