The High Museum of Art has been engaging visitors of all ages in participatory art experiences on the Carroll Slater Sifly Piazza since 2014. This year’s site-specific commission Murmuration was designed by the architectural firm SO – IL. Inspired by Atlanta’s reputation as the “city in a forest” and by the High’s proximity to the city’s abundant greenspace Piedmont Park, SO – IL has designed a 2,350-square-foot mesh canopy that evokes the environment of neighboring trees. This sculptural pavilion, complete with feeding stations and perches, also reflects upon the loss of billions of birds in recent decades. Visitors are invited to “perch and nest” alongside the birds in this outdoor mesh canopy.
For the High Museum of Art, SO – IL has designed the temporary installation Murmuration. Responding directly to the architecture of the Renzo Piano–designed Piazza, the structure also reacts to the city of Atlanta and its relationship with the natural world using the lens of bird migrations. Featuring a foliage-filled mesh canopy suspended over the Piazza by a steel framework, the installation will envelop guests, evoking tree canopies found throughout the city and region.
The canopy structure itself was developed with Atlanta-based engineers Uzun & Case and consists of a constellation of metal frames suspended from six poles and wrapped in agricultural netting, giving the installation its distinct shape. The sculptural arrangement aims to evoke the form of a bird murmuration, a flock of birds momentarily suspended in midair. Murmuration was designed to encourage conversations around biodiversity, extinction, and cohabitation.