Trainspotters and Birdwatchers, Text in: Kind of Boring by Paul Preissner

in: Kind of Boring, Paul Preissner, Actar Press, 2020

Speculation as (re-)evaluation of the normal becomes the project. Birdwatchers don’t typically observe spectacular animals; instead, the focus is on those animals at their front doorstep. Since they are commonly seen, robins do not have to be hunted with binoculars. As an important member of the flycatcher family, they are always worth the close look—not because you discover something special, but because you find the familiar confirmed. An orange-red colors the forehead, throat, and front breast, while the upper tail blankets are a yellow-brown and the lower tail blankets a cream-color. The view through the binoculars is a benign form of appropriation: a brief, ephemeral framing of the familiar as a visual cut-out, an isolating act with a shallow depth of field. Thereby, birdwatchers resemble architects, in tracking down and re-framing familiar forms.

Book: Kind of Boring by Paul Preissner, 2020