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September 05, 2006

Natalie Jeremijenko OOZ, Inc., Postmasters Gallery 9/7-10/7

OOZ is ZOO backwards.
Expanding on her project at the 2006 Whitney Biennial Natalie Jeremijenko has created a unique garden on the roof of Postmasters Gallery - an environmental experiment in interaction with New York City bird population. The complex 1,000 square-foot garden includes architect-designed bird housing projects (multi-family dwellings), water systems, as well as other amenities to improve the quality of life for urban birds.

OOZ, Inc. (Å for the birds) demonstrates an urban system that
accommodates birds and recognizes the valuable services they provide
for the Manhattan ecosystem. The roof of Postmasters is now greener,
a model for urban development: it includes bird-scaled speculative
and sustainable architecture designed by a selection of the boldest
architects. Such private housing for birds welcomes them and invites
them to urbanize. In addition, Jeremijenko provides public facilities
for the birds, regular healthy food, water and bathing facilities,
including a system to contain and recycle local waste, as well as
other public *cultural* amenities for birds, such as a concert hall,
shopping mall, preferred foliage, insects and other resources. She is
in effect launching an experimental platform to see:

Will birds share?
Will birds use a weapon against another?
Will they use the concert hall to perform and amplify their lovely
What forms of leisure will they pursue, given their basic needs are
taken care of? A ferris wheel ?
Will they self-medicate when given the opportunity?
How much ecological impact can one green roof have?

Manhattan, because of its high population density, provides the
greenest lifestyle in the US but further environmental exploration,
given the huge population involved and the primacy of the city in the
culture economy, means that small improvements in the environmental
performance are massively amplified (compared with equivalent changes
in rural or suburban contexts).

New York (Neé, New Amsterdam) was settled in what was one of the
highest density and greatest diversity bird population in North
America, thanks to the resources and rich diversity of this estuary
environment. The same conditions that favored the development of a
megatropolis for humans--plentiful fresh water, harbor access and
other estuary conditions-originally favored a megatropolis for birds.
Today, despite the myriad of challenges the local and migrating birds
face, New York, N.Y. is still the New York, N.Y. for birds.
Natalie Jeremijenko [] is an artist and
engineer who for this project assumes a modest neo(Robert) Moses role
re--imagining and rebuilding urban systems. Unlike Moses she is
designing systems that promote and sustain diversity, remediate
terrestial nutrient cycles and improve the air traffic and quality.
She has been known to work with the Bureau of Inverse Technology,
environmental scientists, and other activists. She is currently on
faculty of the Visual Art Department at UCSD, and a Global
Distinguished Professor at NYU. She was previously on the faculty of
the engineering department at Yale. Her robotics work will be
featured in the upcoming Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, and the
TreeLogic installation at MASSMoCA was recently replanted. The OOZ
project is generously supported with the Research and Experimentation
Grant in Art+Science+Technology from the Daniel Langlois Foundation.

Special thanks to Audubon New York [ ]; The
Friends of the High Line []; and Hudson
River Park Trust


Aranda/Lasch + TerraSwarm, [] are a young
architectural firm who's extensive research into social movement and
urban flows includes equipping pigeons with a camera pack to collect
video documentation from birds eye view; and issuing traffic guides.
They have collaborated with Jeremijenko on the OneTree Map for bikes
and Birds and recently won a competition to design a Park Ranger
cabin to house people in the wilderness. This prepared them for
housing birds in more human wilds.

bonetti/kozerski studio [] are best
known for their spacious designs of the DKNY superstores in New York,
Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur, and sumptuous high-end apartments, including
thoughtful interior strategies to maximize external views (in
particular of Central Park). Their attention to material surface and
clean simple forms invites birds to enjoy luxury that is familiar to
us. Views are tremendously important to both human and birds, but do
birds concur on our ideas of lifestyle?

Leeser Architecture [] current redesign of the
Museum of the Moving Image, integrates seamless skins, surfaces, and
technologies, with wit and a strong formal vocabulary. Glass, the
neighborhood bar in Chelsea, designed by Leeser, conflates inside
and outside surfaces and challenges assumptions of privacy. Bathroom
primping is displayed in the street through a two way glass.

Materialab, founded by Anna Dyson has explored solar system design
and received major grants to investigate multiple scale design
strategies to improve the environmental performance of buildings.
Teamed with the material and image expertise of Gensler+Gutierrez
[], they are producing a state of the
art housing system pushing passive energy strategies and the
sophisticated use of material technology. [
magazine/ winter04/pdf/rrq_winter04.pdf]

OpenSource Architecture, based in Madrid have specialized in
designing stealth housing, disguising residences inside mirrored
surfaces. They provide a bird reinterpretation of OMAs (Rem
Koolhaus') Casa da Musica, a well known performance space housing
diverse musical venues in a complex polyhedra volume. The birds, also
musical performers, are invited to explore these performative spaces.

SYSTEMarchitects llc, [] are known
for their systems analysis and range of prefabricated housing. Not
prefab as simple blocks, but complex beautiful enclosures
rationalized for scaled production. Their design addresses the
American Kestral, a popular bird of prey known to inhabit this area.
One of the firm's Burst series, built under stringent climate and
budget, recently won accolades in Australia.

theLiving: [http:] use active and adaptive
systems, teach "The Living Architecture: Responsive Kinetic Systems
Lab" at Columbia University, and explore the architecture of
Postmasters Gallery located at 459 west 19th street between 9 and 10
Avenues is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 - 6 pm
Please contact Magdalena Sawon with questions and image requests


Magdalena Sawon
Postmasters Gallery
459 W 19 Street
New York, NY 10011
phone 212 727 3323

Posted by cat at 01:12 PM