THE NATIONAL BIRD SERIES
“The National Bird” is an experimental performance series where I am disguised as a migratory animal. I build on the premise that wild creatures can legally cross territorial boundaries without checkpoints, anytime and anywhere. The piece begins by establishing its surroundings as the particular animal, and on some occasions, negotiating the space by interacting with another animal from the series. These personal rituals, sounds, and movements are performed in front of an audience and, at other times, in front of a camera. As part of this process, I speak of the nuances and performative behaviors of the subject animal in each scene and adapt qualities assigned to the animal by its character, history, and sometimes governments, related to immigration. These performances illuminate the privilege these animals have in their choice of travel, location of settlement, and ease of traversing borders, both in the physical and imaginary worlds.