In Autum 2009 Design Drift presented an interactive light installation ( The fly Light) during Dutch Design Week and Glow festival.
The 160 Glass tubes that lighten up and respond to the viewer are inspired by behaviour from a flock of birds and the fascinating patterns they seem to make random in the air. But actually this behaviour is not so accidental as it looks. Every bird has to keep a safe distance from their neighbour bird in front, below, above and next to it. They all want to fly in the middle of the group and no-one wants to be the leader flying in front, above and next to it. They all want to fly in the middle of the group and no-one wants to be the leader flying in front. What will happen if an intruder interrupts? This is what the viewer will experience when approaching the Flylight.
“We converted this bird-behaviour into a digital DNA and translated it into understandable visualisations with light. Each light is controlled individually, but the behaviour is not programmed to a repeated pattern. Move after move the birds have to choose their way within the borders of the installation. Ultrasonic sensors (like bats) measure the distance between the viewer and installation, so the ‘flock’ will react different the closer you get to it, or when more people approach it at once. For us, the interesting part is the free will of the flock: does the group attack the viewers one by one, or will it split up and flee?’
The development of Flylight started in 2007 and was commissioned by Art Partner and made for Balak Coatings in Belgium in collaboration with technical engineers Luuk van Laake and Klaas van der Molen.
Music by: A bird came FLYing: Anne van Schothorst.