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wink with both eyes

or: on feeding pigeons

The Crow Observer differs modestly from the Crow Friend in that the former is less personally involved in interspecific communication with crows than is the latter. Our Crow Observers respected the autonomy of crows and specifically did not want to foster friendships in which one actor was a subordinate, a family member or dependent, a pet, or a kind of property.

(John M. Marzluff and Marc L. Miller, “Crows and Crow Feeders: Observations on Interspecific Semiotics”)

The position of the boundary may be evident for the concept in question, but this need not be so. It could even be completely arbitrary, as when introducing a reference on a size scale allows one to examine the relational concepts of larger than and smaller than. Moreover, the position of the boundary need not even be known in advance. Once could start an experiment without knowing where the boundary is, hoping to find a consistency between subjects […]

(Jos Monen, Eli Brenner, and Jenny Reynaerts, “What Does a Pigeon See in a Picasso?”)

This is the hour of the mystery of the barn swallows.

one Where do they go in daytime?

two Do they never rest?

three When you buy them in the store, made in China, on the end of strings, they do exactly what they do alive.

four How is that possible?

The idea of the changing center is not in anything we make.

Our toys run down.

(Robert Ashley, Perfect Lives, “7. The Backyard”)

and our research runs down… guided by Deleuze+Guattari, Donna Haraway, Vincent Despret, Monen+Brenner+Raeynerts, Marzluff+Miller (), and Robert Ashley, I am attempting to make myself anomalous term, available companion, talented body, arbitrary boundary position, feeder, changing center. a changing center among the theorists, I hope, as much as among the pigeons (Columba livia). I am feeding pigeons, on the move.

I mean to work in the spirit of Deleuze+Guattari’s anomalous term, especially in my very departures from those authors, and in turn, from all the other theorists treated. some consideration of James Wale’s Bride of Frankenstein, and Hayao Miyazaki’s Kiki’s Delivery Service, will help me in and out of the orbits offered by those two, by Haraway against them, by Marzluff+Miller. in these two films are feeders and poisoners, sorcerers and familiars, Oedipal animals and Umwelt, Friends and Observers aplenty. there are sinister becomings1 (and the work of Deleuze+Guattari furnishes its own escape velocity), and hopeful alliances.

it is relatively easy to pet name a pigeon (viz. to make an Oedipal pigeon); this is not the way I’m taking. in Sandusky, Ohio, at Sheldon’s Marsh Nature Preserve (Lake Erie Birding Trail site 47), there are several devote feeders of fox squirrels (Sciurus niger). I witnessed one feeder pass a peanut into the hands of a squirrel, speak to the squirrel fondly. this is a sort of availability, a relationship worth considering. now, the fox squirrels will allow a person to take their close-up2, if that person suggests that they might have some food. with Ashley, I am against the close-up. I took some close-ups of these squirrels. the squirrels could read something in me, at a certain point, around the instant of capture. there are biosemiotics of deception, of disingenuous initiation of feeding.

I am convinced that pigeons, who have spent considerable time around humans, have a very well developed sense of human biosemiotics, that there is a channel of interspecies communication that pigeons are well attuned to, but us not so much. I’ll elaborate this, and I’ll learn more about it.

I will feed pigeons whenever I run into them. I have a pair of novelty reptile sunglasses, holographic lenses. when these are visibly displayed on me, it’s feeding time. I have a bag of relatively nutritious feed mix (lentils, brown rice, chia seeds). when I put the reptile sunglasses away, with some flourish, this is the sign that feeding time is over, and I’m on my way. in January of 2016, in Ukrainian Village, I fed for a few weeks some cats. three cats. a band with a changing anomalous, and all that. I did not have a sign for termination, or deescalation, of the encounter, they would wait at the door. so I am trying out an aposematic gesture.

so, the output is journal and theorizing, towards a mobile pigeon feeding.

1Badiou has posed: “The Fascism of the Potato”… I’d not always recuperate the werewolf; there is no hope for Hermann Löns.

2Robert Ashley, Perfect Lives, “2. The Supermarket”

He used to, uh, shoot close-ups, now he eschews them.

He eschews close-ups for political reasons

one Only the wide shot will accommodate the picture of the masses.

two The close-up is aggressive and looks for victims.

three The close-up precludes theorizing.

four Finance and perspective, without doubt, and one way to solve the problem of where the lines converge, is to zoom in, as they say.

The close-up is the equivalent of the credit check.

The first thing to go in a money crisis is optics.

He eschews close-ups for political reasons.


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