Bill Burns: Bird Radio and the Eames Chair Lounge
On view in the café, Craft Services

Bird Radio, which began in 2007, continues the artist’s investigation of cultural codes of knowledge, preservation and protection which mediate our connection to nature. Bird Radio and the Eames Chair Lounge is a multi-dimensional artwork by Bill Burns which is installed in the MacKenzie’s new café, Craft Service.

Central to this multimedia installation is a chandelier-like device with jerry-rigged birdcalls surrounded by a selection of modern Eames chairs. The birdcalls are two-fold reproductions: not only are the devices designed to mimic the sounds of birds that have been exiled from most of our urban environments, but they are also rebuilt versions of pre-existing devices.

The work includes a radio transmitter, a set of bespoke hand manipulated birdcall apparatuses and a radio receiver, and a set of chairs designed by Ray and Charles Eames in the middle of the 20th century. Bird Radio and the Eames Chair Lounge will be a child friendly installation set in a made-to-order cafe that is currently being built at the MacKenzie. It serves as a starting point for roundtable participant artists, scholars, educators, young people and viewers to share ideas, hopes and concerns about ecology, children, birds and art, and more.

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Bill Burns lives in Toronto. His work concerning animals and safety has been published and exhibited widely in North America and Europe. His drawings, books, multiples and photographs are included in numerous collections, including the Tate Britain in London, the MoMA in New York, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and the Mendel Art Gallery.

The MacKenzie Art Gallery is grateful for the support of South Saskatchewan Community Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, SaskCulture, City of Regina, University of Regina, and Saskatchewan Arts Board.