Dovecote (Birdhouse Blobism), 2004
The Lab Project at Belmar - Denver, CO
Terracotta and white slip, 40" H

Adam Lerner, former director of the Lab at Belmar, invited me among four international artists, to make a permanent public commission for the new town of Belmar. As a town center designed to be green and mixed with both residential and business dwellings, it was part of the New Urbanism movement alive in Denver and spearheaded by Mark Falcone.

I was asked to present a "postage stamp" piece that could be permanently installed anywhere in the town (of my choosing) that someone would come upon and reflect on the life of this new city. Having lived most of my life in New York City, I kept thinking of the inevitable inhabitants of this now pristine urban landscape that we try to discourage from settling. The pigeon came to mind. The more I looked into this bird and its habits, the more respect I felt. Not only does the pigeon mate for life and have extraordinary homing instincts, but they belong to the same species as the dove, only we exhibit a kind of species racism against them. Additionally, Colorado was the home to one of the last passenger pigeons which were made extinct in remarkably few years by the early settlers.

I designed a Dovecote for eight pigeons to be installed on the fifth, and top, level of one of the monolithic parking structures that existed there. Not only would pigeons find themselves nesting there in no time, but parking structures are based on barn design – parking spaces are after horse stalls.

The design of the Dovecote was an idealized pagoda – a dream of an elsewhere – with a Blobist façade – suggesting its future surface and the much-valued guano of the pigeon by many cultures. The material of the piece is terracotta and white slip and it is 40" tall.