Dollar Note is an incredible installation by Robert Gligorov, which features a bird cage full of canaries, mounted on two vertical pianos positioned back to back. As the canaries fly from perch to perch, their weight on each post strikes a piano key. Through the twin pianos, the birds thus create a companion melody to their own tuneful chirps.
But what of the mysterious title, Dollar Note? I assume the “note” part is intended as a double entendre for a musical note and currency, but I’m still rather stumped about the work’s connection to money. The only things I can think of is that “canary” is outdated English slang for a gold coin (for the “yellow” colour), or perhaps it somehow references canaries’ traditional role as sentinels in coal mines. But I feel like I might just be failing to see something obvious. Can anyone clue me in?
Regardless, I think this imaginative sculpture is simply lovely: a magical music machine which combines the beauty of nature and the technologies of man in a delightful and interesting way.
Elsewhere on the Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things:
- The bejeweled larvae of Hubert Duprat
- The unsettling aesthetic of Petrina Hicks
- Jane Howarth’s beautiful bird guts
- Birds in little sweaters by Annette Messager
- Illustrations from Russian fairy tales
- A cluster of rats