A murmuration of starlings is one of the greatest spectacles nature can provide. But it's more likely that, these days, you'll come across it on YouTube rather than seeing the real thing. Still, an acrobating flock of thousands of birds is the inspiration behind a kinetic sculpture by British studio Harvey & John (designers Richard Harvey and Keivor John).
Called _Murmuration Chandelier _the stunning piece was commissioned by The Collective and is made of 20 rings that decrease in diameter and rotate around a centre. The spiralling rings create various designs and have abstracted starlings laser cut in the steel. "From below, the piece resembles a spirograph in motion, aligning to make mesmerising concentric patterns," notes the duo.
The installation is permanently installed at The Collective’s address in Bedford Square, London and stretches across three floors rising over 16' high. "Each ring has its own counterweight, which allows the piece to be in perfect balance whatever the shape it is in." say the designers. "Each ring also has its own micro-controller and motor, the further down the sculpture, the faster the rotation. The kinetic sculpture can also be controlled by an app to change the color, speed and direction of movement."
The pair make what they call "living sculptures," and describe themselves as "Like Q from James Bond (when he's on holiday)"—playfulness features in a lot of their works, which have included floating DJ spheres and a drinking fountain that bows when someone approaches.
Explaining their latest piece they say: "When you look at a murmuration, the birds can seem randomly scattered across the sky—but then in a moment they align to make a beautiful shape and pattern. Like this, the chandelier fleets in and out from seeming disorder to precise spiralling patterns and shapes."
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