Fish Bird Hybridization

The work which I call FIRH, which is a mix of the words FISH and BIRD, is borne out of one of my longstanding artistic interests and that is to mix a fish with a bird. Why do that? Although I am not a religious person, I find our creation mythology fascinating and full of insights into our own emergence as a species. But then, I am also a trained scientist where I worked in the field of genetics under my other identity (Steven Durbach) at a university in South Africa, so I am always trying to see what happens when scientific thinking and – let’s call it artistic thinking – play with each other. So on the 5th day of creation fish and birds were created, presumably from the same source, so the bible implies. Fish and birds were separated. With that creation event comes loss. They lost each other and that makes me sad in some faraway place. So using the principles of genetics, as an art process, I am trying to return them to each other. The process I am using is very methodical, very slow and deliberate, but engages me completely as I exchange small discrete elements of bird for small discrete elements of fish using cutting and pasting. My work, in this and in many other cases, involves a photocopier.. the cheaper the better.. (I love the mistakes and imperfections they introduce).. which is an essential component of a genetic process for introducing mutations into a system.


Project Details
  • 2015

  • ink on photocopied paper

  • 70x30cm

© Copyright Sid Sledge Artist