Patrick Lichty


The Canary Stayed Home (2007)
Found Objects, Physical Computing, Newspaper

This piece, built for Gosia Koscielak Gallery in Chicago in 2007, consists of a birdcage from my childhood, shredded litter, red, white and blue lights, a copy of the Chicago Reader dealing with terror at O'Hare airport, and a small LCD display placed upon the perch in the cage.


On that perch is a set of vital signs that approximate those of a canary's heartbeat (900), respiration and temperature. This display is a proxy-sign for the canary, who, terrified from the mass hysteria about threats from flying, has vacated her cage and is hiding in some unspecified location.


The piece reacts to light and temperature in the room. and is a metaphor for global anxieties regarding the terror-stricken 2000's.

The piece is no longer extant.