Ruffled

An interactive study of 20 unique birds

The Ruffled artworks capture Harris' fascination with presenting animals within an abstracted display as he turns his attention to the world of ornithology, creating living portrait studies of the birds about which he is most intrigued. He selected the 20 species for their unique combinations of beauty, scarcity and specific characteristics.

The birds are brought to life through startlingly realistic virtual representations on screen. At first they appear to be merely posing for a portrait, but when the viewer approaches they become animated, encouraging further interaction.

While seemingly to be nature morte portraits, when observed closely one can see that the birds are actually moving slightly, albeit in a passive state. Viewers may witness gentle breathing or an occasional twitching, but really the birds are trying to remain still, as if for a photographic portrait.


"In Patrick Suskind’s novel Perfume: the Story of a Murderer (1985), the anti-hero character Jean-Baptiste Grenouille uses an extraction method known as enfleurage to capture and distil scents. Although he manages to capture a victim’s life essence into a glass bottle, it causes the captee’s demise in the process.

Harris captures the life of a series of birds in Ruffled (2014, 2017) using code displaying their essence behind the glass of high resolution screens. However, unlike Grenouille’s scents which will fade over time, these animations live on, ready to reactivate with each repeated viewing. One gets the sense that it is only a short matter of time before Harris figures out how to free these creatures from their transparent cages."

Extract from essay by Sunny Cheung




Year:
2016

Edition:
8 + 2 Artist Proof + 2 Musuem Proof  each bird
8 + 4 Artist Proof + 2 Musuem Proof specifically for Indian Peafowl

Materials:
Code, display screen, electronics, sensor, aluminium, acrylic.


Small Dimensions:
286 (W), 342 (H), 72 (D) mm
11.2 (W), 13.5 (H), 2.8 (D) inches

Medium Dimensions:
335 (W), 408 (H), 72 mm (D)
13.2 (W), 16 (H), 2.8 (D) inches

Large Dimensions:
446 (W), 518 (H), 72 mm (D)
17.5 (W), 20.3 (H), 2.8 (D) inches

Indian Peawfowl (Extra Large) Dimensions:
730 (W), 1140 (H), 72 (D) mm
28.5 (W), 45 (H), 2.8 (D) inches
Edition of 8 + 4AP + 2P

Each of the birds within the 'Ruffled' artworks has been created for a specific size, and is available in only that designated format.