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A Glass Bird Takes Flight at the Venice Biennale

Studio Drift’s new kinetic sculpture ‘In 20 Steps’ is a tribute to the human desire to fly.

You'll probably have no clue what you’re looking at, when you look at In 20 Steps for the first time. But once the kinetic sculpture from Amsterdam-based design studio Studio Drift starts moving its 40 glass tubes, you'll notice the abstract flapping of wings, like an enormous bird of glass elegantly taking flight within the space. Last month, the installation debuted at the Venice Biennale as part of the Glasstress 2015 Gotika, a combined exposition from the Hermitage in Sint Petersburg and the Berengo Studio in Venice. Now a video emerges of the artwork in action, which you can see above.


In 20 Steps is a tribute to the human desire to be able to fly, despite the force of gravity and the poetry of persistence in the face of adversity,” write Studio Drift-founders Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn in a press release. “Studio Drift is intrigued by the continuous attempts of humankind to deal with its limitations, so miraculously opposed to nature as these ventures might be. Humankind has always had the desire to fully understand nature and to detach itself from earthly ties. No matter how far science has come, some things are likely to remain forever out of reach.”

The work is the latest addition to a series of works investigating the “mysterious and mathematical qualities of nature and technology,” a mission articulated in previous works including Shylight, a magical light sculpture that dances up and down the ceiling of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and Fragile Future, a series of three-dimensional bronze electrical circuits connected to light emitting dandelions.

Visit Studio Drift's website for more information on In 20 Steps.


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