ronnie s and the mighty sparrow - Human Scarecrows 2.0

a performative act by ronnie s

Do not know what to do. How to act the handling. An awkward dilemma of something unfitting; not working or unwanted. Why? … Go away! All of you! says the scarecrow… still have to do something. Keep oneself occupied. Whom otherwise belongs art too?

The most disastrous scarecrow handling in history was possibly during the cultural revolution in China and ordered by Mao Zedong: The Great Sparrow Campaign (1958 – 1962). The chairman had figured out the birds were picking the seeds needed to feed the citizens. Each bird was eating 4 pounds a year!

So the population was ordered and organized to massively make noise during the sowing season. Continuously 24 hours a day; for weeks on end. All banging kettles and pans, blowing horns and beating drums until the birds dropped dead out of the sky; exhausted from fleeing from the noises. The human scarecrows did their job well. Rumor has it in Peking birds escaped into the diplomatic gardens but eventually no birds were eating the seeds anymore.

There were no birds to eat seeds but neither did they eat the insects. So the insects ate the crops instead and 20 to 45 million people died from killing the so-called enemy of the people. Overlooked was that nature is just that what makes life possible. We should take in consideration the universal rights of our enemy before we attack and destroy or, like we now pretend, just consume.

We do not want scarecrows to be too successful; not too perfect. Failure is a necessity. We could all die otherwise. Is that not a good story? Close our eyes and give it a thought: should we forbid the scarecrow which tends to become too victorious or in the contrary promote that perfect scarecrow so in the long run nature flies freely? Death cures the hunchback, as Khrushchev said; and are we not crippled…

Nothing but nonsense in the world! But let us keep ourselves occupied. Achtung baby, the flowers are not straight! We talk silliness amongst each other and sometimes also truly serious though always avoiding the big words; evidently those are dangerous as much as boring. Only a fool breaks his own art!


ronnie s is a video artist since 1981, living and working in Bergen, Berlin and Chisinau.


► For the second year, Human Scarecrows’ series of non-eventful moments will suggest performative rituals allowing a dialogue with the birds to prevent them from eating the seeds. Rather than chasing them away, we aim to engage a dialogue and distract them by any means: they will be the true spectators.
All the performances and actions will be using alternative technologies as source of power and will be activated in between sunsets and sunrises.
► Human Scarecrows 2.0 is taking place everyday at 5pm at Flatbread Society from the 9th to the 16th of June.
Scarecrows expected on site are : Dimitri Lurie & Vera Mokhova • Ethan Rafal • Kimvi Nguyen • Det Elektriske Korps • ronnie s • Daniela Müller, Maria Belic & Per Westerlund • Oslo Apiary & Aviary • Aksel Høgenhaug • WeAreWorms •
► Human Scarecrows is uncurated by vandaler forening, commissioned by Flatbread Society and made possible with the great support of Futurefarmers and PNEK.

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