Bird Gaze

2021 | A Non-Human Stroll Through Town

There are many more residents in Rotterdam besides the human ones. Why are pigeons so good at living here? How do starlings view Rotterdam? Many animals make use of the city in ways that humans have never imagined – but in this 3-D video you can dive into three informal interviews with these creatures. And get to know the guy who is picking down your feet a bit better. 

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This ongoing project started during a masterclass of the Independent School For the City with urban historians Crimson and landscape architect Dirk Sijmons. During this course we noticed that in the discourse around urban planning, non-human perspectives are still very scarce, and that the city is most of the times viewed as an environment exclusively made by humans for humans. The perceived duality of ‘city here’ and ‘nature there’ is of course an illusion. But how to make this misconception visible?
‘Bird Gaze’ tries to draw attention to non-human residents of the city of Rotterdam through a series of videos and audio tours. Around the central station of the city we placed information boards inviting passersby to tune in to the view of several bird species, to hear about their worries and customs in relation to Rotterdam. For the full experience, scan the QR code below, start the video in the YouTube app in full screen and put on headphones.