The Reading Nest is a new site-specific installation by artist Mark Reigelman outside the Cleveland Public Library. Reigelman obtained 10,000 reclaimed boards from various Cleveland industrial and manufacturing sites and worked with a team of people over 10 days to construct the nest which was completed earlier this month. From his statement regarding the project:
For centuries objects in nature have been associated with knowledge and wisdom. Trees of enlightenment and scholarly owls have been particularly prominent in this history of mythological objects of knowledge. The Reading Nest is a visual intermediary between forest and fowl. It symbolizes growth, community and knowledge while continuing to embody mythical roots.
No these aren’t haystacks stuck in a phone pole. Visit the Kalahari Desert in the south of Africa and you’re bound to run into a peculiar animal called the Sociable Weaver Bird. The birds are called “social” not just because they live in organized colonies, but because they build massive homes out of sticks, grass and cotton that are home to several other kinds birds. That’s right, the nests are so large that birds of other species are welcome to setup shop, not the least of which is the South African pygmy falcon which lives exclusively inside the social weaver’s nests that often accomodate over 100 birds at at time. Via the San Diego Zoo:
The sociable weaver’s nest sees plenty of guests—a regular Kalahari Desert inn! The South African pygmy falcon Polihierax semitorquatus relies completely on the sociable weavers’ nest for its own home, often nesting side by side with the sociable weavers. The pied barbet, familiar chat, red-headed finch, ashy tit, and rosy-faced lovebird often find comfort in the cozy nesting chambers, too. Vultures, owls, and eagles will roost on the nests’ broad roof. Why are weavers willing to share the huge nest they worked so hard to make? More residents mean more eyes keeping a watch for danger. And the weavers often learn from the other birds where new sources of food can be found.
The Clemson Clay Nest was a public land art installation by Bavarian artist Nils-Udo that was constructed in the botanical gardens at Clemson University in South Carolina in 2005. The nest was built with the assistance of numerous students and other volunteers using 80 tons of pine logs harvested from the local Oconee County pine plantation and hundreds of bamboo stocks that were carefully organized into a circular structure dug in gardens rich red clay. After two years the piece was eventually dismantled and the mulched trees were used to partially fill the large hole. You can see many more of the work in these photos by Dylan Wolfe.