BLUE CANARY

2018-19, Berlin / Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Harz. Original essayistic text written in collaboration with the geographer Andreas Döpke, to be published in the book THESE BIRDS OF TEMPTATION, as part of the series intercalations 6, co-published by K. Verlag and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.


The project GOLDEN TONE comes from a research on the historical, cultural landscape of the western Harz Mountain region of Germany, where many of the mining technologies of mineral soil extraction were first developed and then exported to the whole world. The essay reflects on the intersections of past, present and future of this anthropogenic landscape, through the particular history of breeding, training and trading of Canary birds in the region.

"...a queer refrain, populated with both acoustical lines of flight and the sorrows of captivity, wherein the reader-as-exhibition-viewer learns that the minor science of ornithology is as preoccupied with the flirtations and allopreening of avifauna as it is with their taxonomical domination."

THESE BIRDS OF TEMPTATION. With contributions by Ari Bayuaji, Bik Van der Pol, David Bonter, Bertolt Brecht, Lêna Bùi, Mark Dion, Andreas Döpke & Barbara Marcel, Anne Geene & Arjan de Nooy, Sophia Gräfe, Mary Ellen Hannibal, Lisa Hirmer, Nina Katchadourian, Anna-Katharina Laboissiere, Anaïs Nin, Megan Shaw Prelinger, Bruno Schulz, Anna-Sophie Springer, Frank Steinheimer, Anna Tsing, Etienne Turpin, and others.

Click here for more info on the book THESE BIRDS OF TEMPTATION




The essay was further developed into a 4-channel video installation (approx. 120min) named "GOLDEN TONE". In a video assemblage made of hands and machines, silver and serinettes, contaminated heavy metal hills and falling spruce trees, touristic tours and intimate interviews, the iconic landscape of the German Harz gradually reveals its many hybrid layers, giving way to an open field of transformative sonic flights. GOLDEN TONE is about the Harz Roller Canaries, domesticating mines and queering nature.

Click here for more information on the project GOLDEN TONE.


The video installation has recently been part of the exhibition Birds & Buoys at Bärenzwinger Berlin, between April and June 2021.

Click here for more information on the exhibition BIRDS & BUOYS.




© 2021 Barbara Marcel