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Art Center for Digital Cultures & Technology

Lawrence Malstaf — Seagull Fountain

Lawrence Malstaf
Seagull Fountain

Seagull Fountain Kittiwakes seagulls used to live in enormous colonies on remote islands in the Arctic Ocean, but due to environmental changes they are currently under threat of extinction. These birds have recently been migrating to Arctic cities like Tromsø, in the north of Norway.

Three years ago, an ever-growing colony of kittiwakes, behaving almost as interspecies activists, took over the Tromsø art museum. Loud noises, intense smells and multitude of nests on windowsills and ledges triggered an equally loud outcry from the locals of this otherwise peaceful town.

Three light and mobile tripod structures with sculptural nesting modules on top were developed in collaboration with researchers and placed next to the building’s façade. In this way, the nests the birds made in these new “hotels” could carefully and slowly be moved away from the building. Harmony with the locals was restored as the colony followed, and the aim for the future is to install two larger and permanent tripods further away in order to welcome more kittiwakes from the rest of the town.


Lawrence Malstaf

Image by: Lawrence Malstaf