under the auspices by sturnus vulgaris

{ untitled: under the auspices }

by sturnus vulgaris

ISBN 978-0-9831633-3-6
128 pages


                               or get it from Asterism

or freely read/download dbook (PDF)




{ untitled: under the auspices } is a book of auguring, or divination codex, where birds are the words, in particular the common starling (with a few cameos by seagulls & crows). The sequenced set of flight patterns, or murmurations, were captured over the course of the past few years in the skies over Rome, where the starlings winter in the months of October & November.

In the ancient Greek, Egyptian & Roman empires, the will of the gods was determined by ‘taking the auspices,’ or interpreting the flight patterns of birds. In fact, Romulus & Remus, the infamous twin brothers raised by a she-wolf, were both augurs. To settle a dispute about where the city of Rome should be founded (Romulus preferred the Palatine hill & Remus preferred the Aventine), they both took auspices & Romulus ‘won,’ hence Rome is named for him. The murmurating cross-sections in this book were captured mostly from the loser’s Aventine perspective & from along the banks of the Tiber, where Remus & Romulus were born.

To preserve the integrity of interpretation, for those ‘reading’ the book, no words or characters were used in the compiling & editing of the birds, only punctuation & numbers. The book itself also contains no title or author, though they are referenced here to meet the metadata demands of this modern world.


Some of the images from this book have appeared in different form in the following blog posts on 5cense, which spawned the idea for this book of auguring:



sample pages from { untitled: under the auspices } (click on image to see in detail)

under the auspices  under the auspices  under the auspices  under the auspices  under the auspices  under the auspices

moving image book trailers:

more starling murmuration videos


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