National Bird


March 2, 2020

Screen Shot 2020-03-04 at 11.33.31


RE-ANIMATED is a video and VR work that meditates on our paradoxical techno-scientific trajectory. As a digital gardener, the artist has collected and planted a myriad of flora and fauna, which he, by the use of algorithms, has programmed to colonize the island. The virtual landscape is equally an entrancing ecosystem filled with water, light, plants, birds, fish, and insects, and a biotechnological laboratory for a resurrected, monstrously-scaled bird. Kudsk Steensen’s virtual island also echoes computer simulation models that climate scientists use to predict future climate scenarios for life on earth.

Presented By: Researcher and Assistant

Jazia Hammoudi



Jazia Hammoudi is an Art Historian and Writer based in Brooklyn. She has spent the last few years working for artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen as research lead and studio manager. She is currently finishing a novel and applying to PhD programs in Art History and Visual Culture Studies. 



National Bird follows the dramatic journey of three whistleblowers who are determined to break the silence around one of the most controversial current affairs issues of our time: the secret U.S. drone war. At the center of the film are three U.S. military veterans. Plagued by guilt over participating in the killing of faceless people in foreign countries, they decide to speak out publicly, despite the possible consequences.

Their stories take dramatic turns, leading one of the protagonists to Afghanistan where she learns about a horrendous incident. But her journey also gives hope for peace and redemption. National Bird gives rare insight into the U.S. drone program through the eyes of veterans and survivors, connecting their stories as never seen before in a documentary. Its images haunt the audience and bring a faraway issue close to home.

Presented By: Director

Sonia Kennebeck



Sonia Kennebeck has been an independent documentary filmmaker and investigative journalist for more than 15 years. She has directed eight television documentaries and more than 50 investigative reports. NATIONAL BIRD, her first feature‐length film, received a 2018 Emmy-nomination for Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival 2016 and was also selected for Tribeca, Sheffield, IDFA and others. Foreign Policy magazine recognized Kennebeck as one of 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2016, and she was also selected as one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film 2016 by Filmmaker Magazine. In March 2017, NATIONAL BIRD received the prestigious Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize. Sonia Kennebeck was born in Malacca, Malaysia, and lives in New York.