• NEIL SPILLER
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    The Chicken Computer
    The Chicken Computer

    1. Interior of the Chicken Computer, 2009 The design of the interior of the Chicken Computer makes reference to technologies, art practice and personal memory, including Max Ernst's collage novel Une semaine de bonte (1934), pigeon-navigated missiles from the Second World War, and Jesse Reiser's thesis project while he was at Cranbrook studying under Daniel Libeskind. It is a moveable theatre of bodily representations (portrayed by the objects that drop through the multi-level stage on pulleys) controlled by the pecks of the pigeon within the chicken-wire box at the top.

    2. The Glade of the Chicken Computer, 2009 This drawing references the work of Giorgio de Chirico's Mysterious Baths (1934, 1966) and Sun on an Easel (1973). It is also a shed for a homing pigeon, a chicken coop and an analogue computer powered by botechnical 'grease' that mixes different representations of the human body in art and literature to produce hybrid photographs as a source of inspiration for the owner of the Communicating Vessels island. The mechanism of the computer is based on Project Pigeon. During the Second World War, Project Pigeon (later Project Orcon, for 'organic control') was behaviourist BF Skinner's attempt to develop a pigeon-guided missile utilising screens with targets on and pigeon pecks. The drawings of the project are highly multivalent in their meaning and references.