I love this new commission for the Barbican's Curve Gallery - a magical sonic art installation created by artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot.
Entering the gallery through a chain curtain, you first pass through a dark space with a series of video projections and buzzing sounds. So far, so conventional. But then, turning the corner, you find yourself within a very different space, where a flock of rather adorable zebra finches are fluttering between a series of sandy islands furnished with different musical instruments: electric guitars, basses, cymbals and microphone stands.
As the birds go about their activities (taking a bird bath in a cymbal or pecking bits of twig from an electric guitar) and move through the space, they create a random soundscape that blends with the tweeting and chirruping of the birds themselves. Charming, uplifting and seriously cute.
The installation is in the Barbican's Curve Gallery until 23 May 2010.
UPDATE (17.03.10) - one of the birds has laid an egg on a guitar! Read the full story here.
[Image (top) by CarolienC on Flickr via Creative Commons]