Eduardo Kac

Rara Avis, 1996

Rara Avis is an interactive telepresence work in which local and remote participants experienced a large aviary containing 30 live zebra finches from the point of view of a telerobotic macaw. The local ecology of the aviary was affected by Internet ecology and vice-versa. Local participants used a head-mounted display to observe the aviary, the gallery, and themselves, from the point of view of the macaw. When participants moved their heads left and right, the head of the telerobot moved accordingly. Through the Internet, remote participants also used their microphones to trigger the vocal apparatus of the telerobotic macaw heard in the gallery. Sounds in the space, usually a combination of human and bird voices, traveled back to remote participants on the Internet.


By enabling the local participant to be both vicariously inside and physically outside the cage, this installation created a metaphor that revealed how new communications technology enables the effacement of boundaries at the same time that it reaffirms them.


VR experience for CyberMaxx 2.0.


A documentation of this artwork can also be found on ADA:




Eduardo Kac is internationally recognized for his telepresence and bio art. A pioneer of telecommunications art in the pre-Web ‘80s, Kac (pronounced “Katz”) emerged in the early ‘90s with his radical works combining telerobotics and living organisms. His visionary integration of robotics, biology and networking explores the fluidity of subject positions in the post-digital world. Kac’s work has been widely exhibited and is represented in the permanent collections of the Tate, London; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art of Valencia, Spain; the ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe, Germany; Art Center Nabi, Seoul; and the Museum of Contemporary Art of São Paulo, among others.

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