IMAGE: Lucky Dragons, Rendering for 17,000 Observations at The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria, Austin, Texas, 2014.

Lucky Dragons: 17,000 Observations

Los Angeles–based collaborative artists Lucky Dragons (Sarah Rara and Luke Fischbeck) present a new, site-specific artwork directly informed by the biological diversity of Laguna Gloria and the patterns of attention—both human and environmental—that this diversity gives rise to.

Comprising a musical composition and temporary sculptural installation, 17,000 Observations will be accessible both as a performance—in which a small instrumental ensemble plays the composition—and as an environmental recording, which can be played by visitors to the floodplain forest site. The sculpture, a mobile made up of circular mirrors, is designed to accompany both versions: suspended between trees across a footpath, the mirrors reflect the forest in unpredictable ways as they rotate freely, aiding and complicating each viewer’s line of sight. Field recordings made at Laguna Gloria over a 24-hour period, in which the songs and calls of numerous bird species are heard in order, form the basis of the musical composition, overlapping, modulating, and giving way.

17,000 Observations is an attempt to respond to and reinforce the sequences and transitions that define a natural site such as Laguna Gloria, as well as to celebrate the accumulated observations that have already taken place.

"...Laguna Gloria has one of the most active birding communities and one of the highest levels of species diversity in Travis County. Birders have submitted over 17,000 observations of birds in the Laguna Gloria and Mayfield Park area. 16,443 of those observations were at Laguna Gloria. Each observation represents the sighting of a particular species at a particular place and time."

—Laguna Gloria: Site Assessment and Natural Areas Guidelines, Siglo Group, June 2013

A one-time performance will take place Sunday, November 9, 2014, at 2P. Following this event, visitors to Laguna Gloria will be able to access a field recording of the performance and view the sculptural installation through May 31, 2015.