Is This a Sculpture or a Bird Torture Device?

01.30.12 Marina Galperina

These “hand-raised” pigeons are confined to India’s National Academy of Fine Art gallery, perching on the copper “branches” of a sculpture rigged with radio transistors. As they hop, scamper and shit about, they tweak the white noise filling the room. Animal rights groups aren’t happy with the arrangement.

Expert veterinarians insist that Bangalore-based Naveen Thomas’ white art noise “can affect the birds’ hearing and homing abilities.” Surely, that plucks your heartstrings. Or not. Maybe you don’t recognize pigeons for the intelligent, loyal, vulnerable feathered creatures that they are. Fine. But does this sound right?

“I find it interesting to hear how the sound fluctuates every time a bird sits on the copper wire… I’m treating the birds better than they were treated where they had come from. I would even use a monkey if I could.”

Right then. In that spirit, excuse me while I rescue a pound dog to shoot it for my snuff film.

Or not.