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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 8: June 2021
Haiku: 13 words
+ Visual Art: Sculpture
By Gary S. Rosin



empty bird boxes
condos curve up this cedar
no songs in the breeze



—After Control Tower sculpture by Cameron Hockenson


Control Tower: sculpture by Cameron Hockenson; photo by Valerie Wainwright
Control Tower (2011), an homage to songbirds[1]
(Recycled pine wood, solar panels, delay switch, mic, speakers)

By Cameron Hockenson (1975–2015), in collaboration
with Robert Davis and Delmar McComb[2] [3]

Environmental sculpture: birdhouse “condominiums” in a cedar tree at
at Montalvo Arts Center (Saratoga, California).
Photograph copyrighted © 2019 by Valerie Archer Wainwright.
All rights reserved. Image reproduced here with her permission.[1]


*Publisher’s Notes:

1. For details and other photographs, see the article by Valerie Archer Wainwright in the University of San Francisco Museum blog (02-25-2019): Intern-connectivity: montalvo arts center and an homage to the loss of songbirds (link retrieved in May 2021).

2. Cameron Hockenson built Control Tower during a three-month-long residency at Montalvo Arts Center in San Francisco, collaborating with fellow resident, sound artist Robert Davis, and Montalvo’s Garden Curator, Delmar McComb.

As described by Hockenson: “This condominium for birds attempts interspecies communication. Cavity-nesting song birds were driven out of Silicon Valley due to suburban sprawl, and the removal of hollow oak tree snags in back yards, which are the habitat of nuthatches.

“It seemed right these refugees had a community of their own. It was experimental to make a communal colony for birds that prefer to live in, and defend solitary nesting sites. But when compared to human social patterns, it offers up interesting parallels. The varying hole sizes in this piece invited both song birds and blue-jays, their gentrifying predators.

“Because of this problem, I worked with Robert Davis, an artist experimenting with bio mimicry from Goldsmith’s College in London, to make a solar-powered sound system which detects the pitch and song of cavity nesters and chirps back air-traffic warnings in Morse code. Montalvo’s Garden Curator, Delmar McComb, designed a bird garden to provide food and nesting material” (quoted material is from one of Hockenson’s Instagram links— https://www.instagram.com/p/BDGY1Z1R-uC/ —retrieved in May 2021).

3. Photograph above and details about Cameron Hockenson’s art appear here with permission from his father, Bill Hockenson.

4. For more info and images, see Cameron Hockenson’s Instagram page, which was still functioning in early June 2021:

5. See also playwright Claire Willett’s tribute to Hockenson, Space Between (25 August 2015), which includes dozens of photographs, many of which are from the sculptor’s now-defunct website. (Link retrieved in May 2021.)

Gary S. Rosin’s
Issue 8, June 2021

poetry and haiga have appeared, or are forthcoming, in various literary and poetry magazines such as Concho River Review, Failed Haiku, Harbinger Asylum, KYSO Flash, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Poetry24, The Legal Studies Forum, and Visions International; as well as in several anthologies, including Faery Footprints (Fae Corp Publishing), Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga (Dos Gatos Press), Texas Poetry Calendar (Kallisto Gaia Press), Untameable City: Poems on the Nature of Houston (Mutabilis Press), and elsewhere.

His poem “Viewing the Dead” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Two of his poems appear in Silent Waters, photographs by George Digalakis (Athens, 2017). He is the author of two chapbooks, Standing Inside the Web (Bear House Publishing, 1990) and Fire and Shadows (Legal Studies Forum, 2008) (offprint).

Selections of Gary’s poetry and photography can be found at his website, 4P Creations: http://4pcreations.com

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Crossing Kansas by Gary S. Rosin in The Wild Word (7 February 2020); includes audio of the poet reading his poem

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