What you're looking at is something I originally never meant to show to anyone.
While my fixation on dead birds began at an early age after discovering a crow carcass in a pile of raked fall leaves (and having it later swatted out of my hands when my disgusted mother caught me tying a shoestring to it) the act of physically picking a dead animal up off the ground and placing it onto a color xerox machine was something that began, compulsively and secretly, while I was working as a bike messenger in Baltimore. Being everywhere and nowhere all at once can be as inspiring as it is lonely, and occasionally getting hit by cars yourself can transform something as simple as roadkill into a very personal symbol.
Somehow there is nothing more tragic to me than a bird lying lifeless on the ground.
That said, the “flock” on display here is the snowballing result of about 5 years and 3 cities worth of mindless collecting, featuring some carrion from my own native homeland of Philadelphia. The bulk of it accumulated on the job while I was out filing legal documents, delivering food, working construction, painting houses, cleaning up trash and wandering the street at night by myself wanting to fucking die. It wasn't until I ended up working graveyard shift at a porn shop here in Portland that I crossed paths with a japan-based artist named Yo Mutsu who convinced me to not only show other people these birds, but display them alongside his own work at a first thursday art show.
Having never gone to art school or much college, I had my reservations about sharing this. Thankfully, it only took a few minutes of watching the range of people's responses to calm down.
Whether this is “art” or not is something that at this point means absolutley nothing to me. My favorite thing about displaying these birds is the rorshach test-type reactions people seem to have for them across the board. Like an abysmal greyhound bus ride, most of humanity can relate somehow to finding a dead bird. Additionally, the simple method these images were created by seems to make onlookers feel less intimidated when it comes to talking to me. During the course of the 5 art shows I've had in portland, wine guzzling yuppies have shaken my hand comparing the image creation process to anti-corporation grafitti, houseless people have talked my ear off about experiencing bizarre avian encounters, little old ladies have referenced dutch still life painters, bands have asked to use random birds as album covers, small children have pointed out individual maggots with proud sharp eyed glee, nature activists have applauded the money donated pieces have raised for the audubon society, taxidermists have given encouraging nods, one woman dry heaved right after looking and everyone, from what I hear, has at one point in their life fixated on a dead animal and stared at it a bit too long.
If nothing else, I am happy to make the experience slightly less disgusting for everyone. Question what is revolting?
And no, kinkos has never caught me doing this.