Richard Barnes, Murmur 14, 2006. More - and sharper-quality - images at Barnes’ website.
Richard Barnes’s photographs capture the double nature of the [starlings] — or at least the double nature of our relationship to them — recording the pointillist delicacy of the flock and something darker, almost sinister in the gathering mass. Many of Barnes’s photographs… were taken over two years in EUR, a suburb of Rome that Mussolini planned as a showcase for fascist architecture. The man-made backdrop only enhances the sense of the vast flock as something malign, a sort of avian Nuremberg rally.
It is, of course, natural for birds to surrender individual autonomy to the flock; according to the Roman ornithologist Claudio Carere, who has identified 12 basic flock patterns, the starlings are primarily trying to evade falcons. But we project onto the natural world a large measure of ourselves. In ancient Rome, augurs studied the flight patterns of birds to divine the will of the gods; part of the fascination of the starlings is the way they seem to be inscribing some sort of language in the air, if only we could read it.
Image source: Pruned.
Something about giraffes. Via mattermedia:
Giraffes seem to provoke questions of forms and limits for humans (for obvious reasons perhaps). This image by Richard Barnes asks these questions in startlingly visceral terms. What sort of force must be brought to bear to move a giraffe into the right position - visually, physically, by ropes and harness and pulley and levers - in the representational schema of natural history?