Human Birdhouse


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Displayed in 2008 at the Schuykill Center for Enviornmental Education in Philadelphia, PA, Human Birdhouse is an on-site installation exploring the relationship between nature and an urban environment.

Miyamori create a large scale tree rubbing collage on the front side of the barn’s wall in conjunction with about 25 7x7x7” small birdhouses, also covered with her tree rubbings, on the trees surrounding the barn. Miyamori wanted to convey the relationship between humans and animals with the juxtaposition of the birdhouses and the barn. In comparison to humans, most animals occupy houses that are proportionate to their own body size, just large enough for them to feel the value of comfortable living without the fear and uncertainty of nature. The exaggerated size of Human Birdhouse in contrast to the relatively small birdhouses hanging on the branches allow for the viewer to understand in a surreal and humorous take upon the relationship between nature and humans.

The washi was secured onto the barn with a wheat paste that can withstand all weather, while also being nontoxic and non-damaging to the barn itself after removal. Miyamori create the rubbings from trees around the installation site with charcoal made from tree bark collected from the Schuykill Center.

The installation remained through the Fall and Winter, withstanding the snow throughout November. The inclement weather only proved the necessity of shelter, but also showcased the exaggeration of how large the barn was in comparison to a bird and the excess that humans have grown comfortable that held a same purpose as the much smaller birdhouse.