Martin Hill

Project Nest

The intention is to challenge assumptions of what people might expect to encounter in the city. This is a place where someone can listen and explore. We aim to provoke our audience to consider the role they play within our urban ecosystem.


‘without the birds there would be no trees, and without the trees there would be no birds’.


‘Project Nest’ explores the interaction between the sound of birds and people in the space.

The aim is to engage the audience with the various sounds of different bird species, such as chirping, the flapping of wings, singing in chorus etc.



Auckland Arts Festival 2015

The Auckland Arts Festival is Auckland's premier festival of New Zealand and international arts. The globally-recognised event celebrates people and culture, and showcases the cultural diversity and vibrant energy of New Zealand's largest city. The next festival dates are 4-22 March 2015.


This work has been commissioned for next years' festival. We have been working closely with another artist to transform the Aotea Square into an engaging place for all the festival go-ers



Have a look at these blog entries for a better understanding of my thinking through-out this process. It also provides a behind the scenes look at this current work


This program works by using the mouse cursor in the zone of each nest which causes the birds to fly to another nest. Every bird will react differently from each other, so it has the appearance that the birds are acting chaotically.


The communication aspect of ‘Project Nest’ is to create a mesh network of Raspberry Pi’s by linking each pi with a wireless network. The Pi’s will send and receive individual infra-red distance sensor information between each other. The information communicated will send and receive the birds position, breed, distance from nest and the desired path the bird is following.


The tracking of distance will  be able to detect how far a moving object is from the nests, and also be able to calculate the distance travelled over time. The captured information will helpful to determine how the birds will behave in the space. Fast movements detected could cause the bird to flee from the area of fast movement, like most birds naturally do. Birds behaviour will differ, dependent on the breeds, some birds are more aggressive in behaviour and some are clever.



How It Will Work