Explaining Taxonomy to a Bird

a lecture performance filmed at the Natural History Museum, Berlin

A lecture-performance originally given at the Natural History Museum, Berlin and now made into a 35min film recorded in the museum’s Historic Bird Collection. The lecture explores how humans have attempted to name, classify and impose order onto the tangled web of species with which we share this planet. Questioning science’s apparent urge to classify, to separate or to ‘box’ – the lecture contrasts this with more recent ideas of humankind’s interdependence and entanglement with our fellow ‘planet mates’. The lecture is illustrated with the artist’s drawings, video-works and writing that explores our relationship with the ‘aliens’ that surround us, and will also ask how we might, as a species, be evolving, mutating or merging in the future.

The original lecture was given to live audience in the museum’s historic ‘Hörsaal’ where the visitors were greeted with cooked quail’s egg set on each place and a lecture given by man and a stuffed vulture.