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Minor Ornithology

Minor Ornithology is an ongoing sub-theme of the Reassembling the Natural project; it considers avifauna and their role in the development of human knowledge, aesthetics, and culture from a variety of perspectives and across a wide range of media. To date, the investigation into Minor Ornithology has been manifest in exhibitions, across different public programs and research talks, and through publications and writing. As part of the 15th Jakarta Biennale (2013), Dr. Turpin also curated the performance and installation piece “For a Minor Ornithology” at the Pasar Burung Pramuka in Jakarta, Indonesia. Accompanying the performances is an essay written by Springer and Turpin. This essay, “Some Notes For a Minor Ornithology,” considers the remarkable role of avifauna in the history of European scientific experiments, public museum displays, and taxidermy practices. An interview with Turpin about the project from the Biennale is also available here.

Other selected instantiations of Minor Ornithology include Springer’s essay Inter Folia Aves: Reading Birdbooks as Curatorial-Editorial Constellations” (2016); the workshop “Necroaesthetics: Life and Death of Natural History” (ECAL, 2016); the workshop “Little Birds / Little Machines,” (Berlin Natural History Museum, 2014) organized for SYNAPSE in collaboration with the ornithologists, Frank Steinheimer and Sylke Frahnert; and, a presentation Springer gave in the framework of Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc’s panel at the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014). See also anexact.org/Minor-Ornithology.

Entitled These Birds of Temptation, “minor ornithology” will be continued in 2017 through the sixth volume of the intercalations: paginated exhibitions series, which Springer and Turpin co-edit for the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin since 2015, and with support by the Schering Stiftung.

Additional forthcoming instantiations of this theme will be announced as they are confirmed.