Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Nov 7, 2011

Pigeon Suits or, When Meaning is Lost on the Internet

I received a link on Facebook the other day which had a picture of a pigeon in colorful crochet. I started to pass it on quickly by sharing it on my Wall. Instead, I decided to go further.  And I’m so glad I did.

I  traveled that link to other links and finally arrived at the site for the artist (Laurel Roth).

It was interesting to see the commentary & presentation of her work along the way. At the first link, the author is confused about why pigeons would need “knitted (sic) outfits,” but they're “adorable.“  She calls the project “Pigeons in Costume’ and describes it as ‘hilarious.’

The next site, linked to from the first, is entitled “Pigeons in Costume”, and there is more information, the proper title for the series - "Biodiversity Reclamation Suits for Urban Pigeons.” This author describes the work thusly:

“…Roth takes pigeons (hand carved mannequins), sets them on stands, and crochets yarn coats for them to look totally and wholly fancy in. Everyone loves a little fancification, right?
Even dirty birds like to feel loved and to look super sassy….”

And includes one reader comment: “These people has etirely too much free time! Lol” 

When I finally arrived at the artist's site, I discovered that she dresses wooden pigeon mannequins in suits "that disguise them as extinct birds, thereby (visually) re-creating biodiversity and soothing environmental fears. "

I don’t know about soothing my environmental fears, but in finally getting to the artist’s site and statement, seeing the pictures in the web setting she chose for it,  I felt immensely enriched by knowing the deeper meaning of her project.

And was given a key to open my own door of  meaning and associations upon viewing this as the art work it is meant to be. I felt awash in a sense of loss, and then began to think about how we try to recreate stellar moments or experiences or capture them in photographs and how sometimes it just seems sad….

In addition, I  got to see the Laurel Roth's other work, which gave even more context to this series,  and realized she probably also carved the wooden pigeon mannequins.

The lesson here for me is twofold.
1. On the internet as in real life, it’s wise to go to the source of things.
2. When I present something here or am tempted to do a quick repost to social media, I should take a moment and be sure I’m not just sending a pale iteration - a pigeon in an adorable outfit- when I could be sending something far more meaningful.


Here are the links in the order I followed them:

top picture found here
bottom picture found here



At 11/7/11, 1:30 PM, Blogger Reticula said...

That's some amazing, gorgeous, meticulous work. And I think there's one more lesson here: some people should just shut up about things they don't understand.

At 11/7/11, 3:14 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

When I first looked at it I thought it was a real pigeon in a crocheted outfit and I wondered how she got him into that. After reading the rest of your article I understand. I agree with Reticula. sometimes even about myself.

At 11/9/11, 10:23 AM, Blogger 'Zann said...

Haha, Kris - I thought the same thing when I first saw that picture!

Carol, my question is, how do we know we don't understand? Agreed, best to pause before expounding on something, get pretty sure we understand. But if we don't understand I'm not sure we can know we don't understand.

At 11/9/11, 10:27 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

I think we just have to look for more information and be sure we understand to the best of our ability before we start exponding on some topic or other.

i know what you mean though.

At 11/13/11, 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


and you nail it right there,,, so easy to mindlesslu click "like", but look at the gold you found after a tiny dig.

I love this artist's work, adn feel sad the attribution of it does not stay..


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