Thinking About Flying was a project by artist Jon Rubin at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA). I collaborated with Rubin to bring this project to life.
The MCA was provided with a group of young homing pigeons to be cared for by the museum and trained by its visitors. Museum visitors were invited to participate by taking home a pigeon in a carrying case and releasing the pigeon to fly back to its loft on the museum’s roof. As this training process progressed, the pigeons traveled distances increasing from a few blocks to over 400 miles.
By sharing in the responsibility of caring for the pigeons, the relationship between the visitors and the institution is made explicit and personal, and a collective stake in the ongoing life of the artwork is initiated. The traditional notion of an art museum is inverted as domestic spaces perform the function of temporary exhibition sites and the institutional space is cast as a domicile and caretaker. In this way, the work maps the social and geographic relationship between the institution and its constituent audience.