The Art of Science: The Poo Printer

The Poo Printer, with finished letter A at right

The Poo Printer, with finished letter A at right

Birds poop all over everything.  Or as Spanish artist Fabrizio Lamoncha puts it, “A common idiosyncratic habit in all birds is their inevitable punk nature to shit over our most precious belongings.”

He decided to transform what he calls this “countercultural attitude” into a “marketable artsy product”. Thus he created the Poo Printer, a slow, messy noisy machine which uses bird poop as pixels.  He describes the printer:

“The Poo Printer consists of a wooden cage sized 170x120cm and 100cm high with a removable tray in the center. This tray has interchangeable parts looking like tree branches with integrated food dispensers. According to the order of placement of these pieces it creates the shape of each of the characters of the Latin alphabet. The birds will hang out there most of the day, eating, pooing and even eating and pooing simultaneously.” (source)

A large roll of paper covers the bottom of the cage, so as the birds poop from their letter-shaped perch, the “pixels” accumulate in roughly the same shape on the paper below.

Lamoncha’s first group of birds consisted of four male zebra finches, who apparently worked well as a team, pooping out a large letter “A” in about 2 days. (He chose all males to discourage the aggression that accompanies mating) He plans to make the printer available to art venues to use with their own teams of birds, and is currently working on an outdoor version.  Click here for a time-lapse video of the Poo Printer in action.

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