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1000 Ducks

1000 virtual duck species covered in a book, video, sculptures, and an ambient audio album.

New updated book will be released in 2024.

It’s my version of senbazuru: folding 1000 origami cranes. Cranes are symbols of longevity in Japan and the paper garlands are traditional, created and given to grant a wish or give strength to the ill.

This project is very special to me as they (all the ducks) were made to augment an inside joke between myself and my dearest friend Pat when he was in the hospital during his treatment for leukemia.

Duck watching is a favorite hobby of mine and it became one of Pat’s as well while he tried to recover.

This collection of 1000 was printed into one book, which I gave to Pat. Essentially they are a punchline to a joke. A kind of bird watching you can do from bed. A good luck charm and a silly task.

Ducks are great: easy to find everywhere, move slowly, well tempered, you can get close to them, you can feed them, they appear in quantity (in numbers and in species), they make sounds, and can be incredibly colourful. They are gentle and satisfying. They are wonderful and thoughtful.

100 Duck Calls is an accompanying album for the single book. It features “natural recordings” of 100 ducks in 2 environments: seashore and pond side. Both the sounds of the birds and the surrounding sounds were digitally created. There are no actual birds.

The environments are collages of various locations and the duck sounds were made by either creating the sounds from digital modular synths or by manipulating samples of other things (people, objects, instruments, etc.) in another set of synthesizers.

Here are a few details about how the ducks were made.

Because these drawings started with a guide to actual, real life local duck species the base shapes came from those living ducks. However each Duck in the project has its own silhouette. The only repeat feature that’s identical across all of them is the shape and size of their eyes.

There are no repeat words in the duck names–besides the word “duck”.

1000 Ducks

2014–2024

Video | Sculpture | audio | Drawing

978-1-7778729-1-5

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