'WIRED' features Rick Silva’s futuristic birds

Rick SilvaWIRED has featured Assistant Professor Rick Silva’s futuristic bird project in a recent issue. Silva teaches animation in the UO Department of Art’s Digital Arts Program.

In his work “The Silva Guide to Birds of a Parallel Future,” Silva introduces eighteen bird species of the future. “They’re glitchy, curious things—some mesmerizing, some arresting. One heron-like beast, cycling through psychedelic colors, moves by slowly swooping not just his wings but his neck and tail feathers, too,” WIRED writer Kyle Vanhemert writes.“ A swan glides peacefully, his wings raised upward surrounding a featureless white orb. One entry is little more than a Borg-like cube of feathers. You wouldn’t necessarily want these guys stopping by your bird feeder.”

Silva developed the idea while on a plane en route to Munich after having recently purchased a copy of Sibley’s Field Guide to Birds, “so that was on my mind, and [I] had also read a bit about multiverse theory,” he told WIRED’s Vanhemert. “I did think about the specific alternate universe some—how the physical laws or evolution might have been different in a parallel dimension. But also about how the device used to capture this bird’s rendering and shape might be different—how it’s maybe a piece of technology from our universe that is peering into another, and what we are seeing is somehow a translation.”

See thirty- to forty-second videos of all eighteen of Silva’s birds here.

Guide to Birds

a Silva creation
Above: “One entry is little more than a Borg-like cube of feathers,” writer Kyle Vanhemert wrote of this Silva creation.

Video image from “The Silva Guide to Birds of a Parallel Future.”
Above: 
Video image from “The Silva Guide to Birds of a Parallel Future.”

Still image from Silva’s field guide
Above: Still image from Silva’s field guide.
 

August 20, 2014