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an installation by Christoph Keller

Christoph Keller
Christoph Keller
The starling-made nest balcony above Chr

hi dears,


thanks for insisting. the “small thing” i was thinking about is a family of starlings who since last spring are nesting in the thermal insulation of my house next to my kitchen window (see image attached).


they have obviously constructed themselves a kind of balcony situation far from being in a quarantine. however they are victims as well as beneficiaries of a gentrification process, which first restricted their natural habitats of knotholes in trees and wooden pediments in houses and thus made them, at the end of this process, appreciate the comforts of modern life. they must have learned – perhaps individually, but more likely as a sageness of the species – how to first make small holes into the hard plastering of the houses, then opening it up enough to form an entrance. The inside, composed of soft mineral wool insulation, then just has to be widened and fitted according to the bird families’ spatial desires and is then almost ready to move into.


last year they liked it so much that they even bred there twice, and they came back in time this year for their home’s spring cleaning and redecoration. however, when i cautiously peeked into their house this weekend with the help of the telescope-stick for my smartphone, they were gone.


now i am not asserting there is a direct link between the human corona lockdown to the disappearance of my bird family – maybe they have just gone on some kind of “vacation"—but i would be surprised if the animal and even the vegetal kingdoms did not take notice of the present changes in human urban behaviors and activity and adapted their lives accordingly.

let’s see. i hope they will soon return and rather did not have to find a better outlook elsewhere.


with my best wishes and not knowing how to fit this into your project,

take care christoph


born 1967 in Freiburg/Breisgau, studied Mathematics, Physics and Hydrology in Freiburg, Berlin and Santiago de Chile, at the University of Arts, Berlin and at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne.
Selected solo exhibitions and projects include: Small Survey on Nothingness, Schering Stiftung, Berlin (2014); Expedition Bus – Shaman Travel, Presentation at abc Berlin (2012); Aether – between cosmology and consciousness, Nouveau Festival Du Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011); Voyages Extraordinaires, CRAC Alsace Lorraine, Altkirch (2010); Observatorium, Kunstverein Braunschweig (2008).
Recent group exhibitions include: Realität und Fiktion, Villa Schöningen, Potsdam (2013); Ghostbusters – or how to stress photography, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2013); Virtuosity - A concert on skill and disruption, strength and nonchalance, morale and cheating, Berliner Philharmonie, Berlin (2013); L’Institut des archives sauvages, Villa Arson, Nice (2012) and The Worldly House, Archive for dOCUMENTA 13 (2012).
Christoph Keller lives and works in Berlin.

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