The Thirsty Bird

The movement of a pump jack (known colloquially as a “thirsty bird”), and a public water fountain are synchronized in a delicate dance. As the pump pulls oil upward, the water fountain spurts water. An array of archetypal individuals—cowboys and Indians, a father and his son, a county sheriff, a cow, a soldier, a girl with her dog—emerge in endless succession to drink from the fountain. The graphic treatment is based on Gerd Arntz’ ISOTYPE (International System Of Typographic Picture Education), developed with Viennese social scientist and philosopher Otto Neurath (1882-1945) as a method for visual statistics.

Animation assistance: Lindsay Nordell

2012
bitforms gallery, New York, NY
Diverseworks Art Space, Houston, TX

About Marina Zurkow

New media artist Marina Zurkow creates research-based animated films that explore the subject of human relations with animals, plants, weather, and the media cultures that develop around these themes. “My work is about the networked stories we tell ourselves about our place in the larger world, the interwoven and often conflicted threads of this, and how these are represented in mediated form,” Zurkow says. In response to online viewing behaviors—particularly the short attention spans of online audiences—Zurkow makes layered psychological narratives that have neither continuous thread, nor beginning or end. Zurkow creates many of the images used in her films by hand, as in Mesocosm (Northumberland UK) (2011), a 146-hour film about a yearlong cycle of life in the moors of northern England, involving weather phenomena and a cast of 150 characters—an investigation of the nature of human relationships with changing landscapes.

American, b. 1962, New York, New York, based in Brooklyn, New York

Solo Shows on Artsy

2013
Marina Zurkow: Necrocracy, bitforms gallery

Group Shows on Artsy

2016
2012
World on a Wire, bitforms gallery