The Thirsty Bird

Two-channel animation, black and white, silent
5 min,12 sec loop
Animation assistance: Lindsay Nordell
Edition of 5

The movement of a pump jack (known colloquially as a “thirsty bird”), and a public water fountain are synchronized in a transitory dance. As the pump pulls oil upward, the water fountain spurts water. An array of archetypal individuals—cowboys and Indians, a father and his son, a county sheriff, a cow, a soldier, a girl with her dog—emerge in endless succession to drink from the fountain. The graphic treatment is based on Gerd Arntz’ ISOTYPE (International System Of Typographic Picture Education) figuresdeveloped with Viennese social scientist and philosopher Otto Neurath (1882-1945) as a means for visual statistics.