17,000 Observations

17000 observations

“17,000 Observations” (2014) is a musical composition and sculptural installation developed specifically for the floodplain forest at Laguna Gloria, in Austin Texas. A mobile made up of circular mirrors is suspended between trees across a footpath, reflecting the forest in unpredictable ways, aiding and complicating each viewer’s line of sight. Field recordings made on-site over a 24-hour period form the basis of the musical composition: the songs and calls of migratory birds overlap, modulate, and give way to one another in sequence. Each audience member determines their own path through the performance, following the forest’s natural trails to collect fragments of call-and-response from an instrumental ensemble dispersed throughout the floodplain. “17,000 Observations” is an attempt to respond to—and reinforce—the sequences and transitions that accumulate to define a natural site, from all around, with no center.

‘[…] Laguna Gloria has one of the most active birding communities and one of the highest levels of species diversity in Travis County. Birders have submitted over 17,000 observations of birds in the Laguna Gloria and Mayfield Park area. 16,443 of those observations were at Laguna Gloria. Each observation represents the sighting of a particular species at a particular place and time.’ (Laguna Gloria: SIte Assessment and Natural Areas Guidelines Siglo Group, June 2013)