BIRDS AND BORDERS, Birds & Borders project

  Birds and Borders is an ongoing project of Ever Arts and Rod Summers. Mailartists and others, interested in birds, received and will receive B & B reports by the B & B team from Holland.


  Over 200 mailartists participated in the Birds and Borders mailart project in 1992. All participants received an illustrated catalogue and those who participated in sending a cassette received an audio-collage. The exhibition took place 21th November until 12th of December 1992 in de Bewaerschole in Haamstede Holland. On the occasion of the opening of the exhibition an excursion was made to the vanished village of Koudekerke and those present at the exhibition were witness to the performance "Response and Responsability" by Rod.


OIL AND BIRDS DON'T MIX, (fragment of a text from the catalogue by Ever Arts)

  From 1974 until 1984 I spent most of my freetime bird-watching. In 1984 I became involved in the mail-art network. I was glad to be able to mix my bird-watching with mail-art activities when Rod and I decided to do a project on birds. As a birdwatcher I was often confronted with oil pollution. Once there was advantage in that: the opportunity for closer observation of unusual or rare birds. The first Velvet Scoter I found on the beach of Goeree-Overflakkee stayed in my house for about three weeks. I looked after the bird, went out fishing for little fish and crabs for it, but the duck died anyway, it was then I realised that oil companies were hard to fight against. All kinds of nature protection societies do their utmost to focus attention on the problem and with the B.& B project we also try to do something about bird protection. As a matter of fact we were inspired to our project by the images of oil covered Cormorants during the war in the Gulf. Birds and Borders the whole day long on CNN television to show the world what it already knew:


    Ko de Jonge (Middelburg)


  Grateful thanks to Pierre Jean Vetter ( Mona Lisa Foundation) for generously sponsoring the documentation and thanks to all the participants in the show for sending their brilliant works and sharing our concern for birds.



February 1994


In 1992 we organised the project Birds and Borders which culminated in an exhibition of creative works which had been sent to us by over 200 mail-artists and audio-artists. Our invitation to participate in the project did not explain our intentions. The idea for the project was born of our common interest in birds and bird watching. Most of the contributors chose the theme of bird-protection, only the minority related their works to borderincidents between states and countries.

As a symbol and ideograph for the Birds & Borders project we chose the Manx Shearwater (puffinus puffinus). The Shearwater's different sub-species breed in Europe, America, Australia and Africa, it nests in the earth. When it is not-breeding the bird lives at sea all around the globe. It is an omnipresent species.

After the exhibition in 1992 in Haamstede ( Holland) we produced a catalogue in which we wrote about the fact that oil companies are hard to fight against and expressed our strong desire that an end to oil pollution be rapidly and universally achieved.



We are aware that this fight is most difficult but at the same time we think that bird protection societies ( and other wildlife institutions) could fight harder. Yes, we believe in education, but now the time to act has come. Our Shearwater stands for universial freedom and right to having a place for oneself wherever on earth that might be. The inane continuous pollution must cease.

The shearwater soars in search of reason.