Monday, April 8, 2013

Embroidered Total Avian Life Support System

Northern Cardinal on organic whole grain bread

A new false product from Stuff You Can't Have, offering the birds in your back yard everything they need from cradle to egg. While earlier experiments with stitched bread were entirely frivolous (Embroidered Wonder Bread) or purely aesthetic (Boro Bread), the Avian Life Support System is marvelously utilitarian.

Red-winged Blackbird

Blackbird close-up

Each slice of hand-stitched bread depicts either a specific North American bird species, as with the Red-winged Blackbird above, or evocative nature environments, as with the California wildflowers below. The base is organic, whole grain, high-fiber bread and the embroidery floss is 100% cotton. Each slice incorporates a loop at the top for ease of hanging. Here is how the Total Avian Life Support System works:
  1. Hang your Total Avian Life Support System (TALSS) from the limb of a tree, well out of reach of predators.
  2. Over time, birds will come and peck at the bread, absorbing its nutritional value, until they eventually consume all edible components of the TALSS.
  3. What remains are colorful strands of embroidery thread hanging from the branch. Now the birds may swoop in, snatch the soft cotton strands in their beaks, carry them away, and use the strands to line their nests, nurturing the next generation.

California wildflowers TALSS

Trio of Western Bluebirds

Close-up of Western Bluebirds

Below is a time-lapse series showing the Total Avian Life Support System in action as the slice depicting the Northern Cardinal is displayed in a tree and slowly consumed.

TALSS installed in tree

TALSS slowly being consumed

TALSS in late stages of consumption

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, look for Total Avian Life Support Systems hanging in the trees around Lake Merritt. You may also inspect some of the TALSS examples pictured here more closely, on display under a bell jar at the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium after the grand opening in its new location on Pier 15 on April 17.

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