Bird flight patterns become alien scribbles in eerie photo series

In Xavi Bou’s Ornitographies series, birds twist above motorways and phone cables like extraterrestrial flatworms. Some of the strange forms look like Cy Twombly paintings, others like mechanical invaders.

In an explanation about the project, Bou says his attention to bird flight began during childhood walks with his grandfather. Using a technique based on chronophotography – pioneered by early photographers such as Eadweard Muybridge – Bou records the flight patterns of birds and turns them into single, composite images.

As The Creators Project notes, the results share a lot in common with the work of filmmaker Paul Parker, who made an ethereal composite of one hour of bird flight across a single location. With the contrast between the weird, alien-looking bird composites and the everyday landscapes of roads and lakes, they also remind me of the unsettling, everyday sci-fi of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag.

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Born in Barcelona, Bou studied geology and photography before earning his stripes in the world of fashion and advertising. In 2009 he co-created a photo retouch studio, LaCrin. He describes Ornitographies as an attempt to capture the beauty of nature, while also exploring new ways to represent it.


You can see more of Ornitographies on Xavi Bou’s website.

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