Audio-visual urban birdwatching tour

Flyway is a performative excursion that involves the public in the majestic and enchanting bird migration. Paying much attention to every new locality where the project is created, Flyway explores the ecological community of birds, people and locations of the area. According to the creators, it is important to realise that the global issues of migration and climate change are local problems as well.

The audio-visual journey Flyway gets deep in contemporary philosophical and ecological thinking and the perception of the changing relationship between us and nature, us and others. This is a subtle line between being oneself and the other. These are the choices eliminating the distance between here and there. Those are collective and personal myths that we create in order to understand our place in this world, so that we could choose the direction of our further movement.

The audio-visual experience gained during the Flyway journey touches upon the spheres of real and virtual worlds. Part of the action takes place here and now, the other part was made beforehand. It is based on the indirect experience of humankind in the wild, while more and more people enjoy urban life and encounter natural species that do not exist in the urban environment, only on the screen.

Flyway creates a chance to cross our geographical, metaphysical and human boundaries and to approach the transformation into the other: a bird, a flock, the air, a city, you or me.

In Aphids’ projects, we are interested in challenging the hierarchies of spectatorship. The public, art and artists become entangled as strange contexts allow for multiple purposes and interpretations. As Flyway is recreated in new locations, with new birds, birders and audiences, the work inevitably elicits readings that reflect distinct local contexts. It’s this continual shifting of perspectives and the possibility for the ordinary and the spectacular to coexist that Aphids’ projects revel in.

Dramatist Lara Thoms

To compose the soundtrack for Flyway, I was interested to merge two discrete sound worlds – that which the birds found themselves in (including the birds themselves) and a “musical” space that utilised differing compositional elements to bring into focus the imagined challenges and reliefs that must occupy such a pilgrimage. To explore the world surrounding the birds, I applied a relational listening technique that married the two sets of ears all field recorders use – that of the organic ear and the prosthetic ear (of the microphone). It’s in the space between these two ears that the field recording is formed. The recordings act as the final output from a series of creative, technical and aesthetic choices that are made by the field recorder in the lead up to the moment of recording. Once the record button is pressed, the work completes itself with each passing second until it is stopped.

Composer Lawrence English

Dunn invites to establish a dialogue with the city – to carefully observe the environment, sense the relation between nature and humans, oneself and the other. Spectators of Flyway are active participants, whose experience is intense and different for everyone. While walking two and a half kilometres over one and a half hours, looking through binoculars and listening to music, every participant creates a kind of personal film for him/herself. During this audio-visual journey, the well-familiar city spaces become fragile and temporary. After the event ends, this feeling of temporality does not disappear; one feels compelled to continue wandering around the parks and backstreets of Vilnius, observing passers-by, nature, oneself.

Marija Paškevičiūtė, Naujasis židinys – Aidai

Leaning upon the scuffed parapet of the house’s terrace we explored the beautiful dimming city over the binoculars. Then I thought that I like Flyway more than Remote (An excursion Remote Vilnius, organised by Rimini Protokoll in 2014), since there were no commands or commentaries here, only music, allowing to submerge into one’s thoughts. And then the quiet bird Liz started to disappear. I did not even notice when. She went further, removed her pelerine, and we saw her transparent wings. And somehow it was clear that no one should keep following her, it was inadmissible and not possible to. We will have to continue watching her disappear; appreciating the feelings, when something in life is vanishing and cannot be stopped. This is what she precisely devised and performed. And the hour of the day was calculated so that finale coincided with sunset. Terraces of Vilnius’ meadows between the Sports House building and Neris river served as ideal set for Liz to wander off and disappear in the evening twilight.

Rūta Oginskaitė, Menų faktūra