CONCEPT Flylight questions the delicate balance between the safeness of a group and the freedom of the individual. “Who chooses total individual freedom above these rules is forced to operate outside of society. Where lies the perfect balance between the two?” With Flylight, DRIFT reﬂects upon this question in both a poetic and aesthetic way. While birds are the ultimate symbol of freedom, in a ﬂock they move as one single entity, creating mesmerizing patterns. This ﬂock behavior is an example of ‘self-organization’ where no single bird leads the ﬂight. Amazingly enough, each bird senses the speed and the direction of the group. This natural phenomenon formed a source of inspiration for Flylight, which translated the behavior of the ﬂock into a specially developed agent-based software. The installation is not pre-programmed, but has an interactive component—just like a real ﬂock of birds.
BIRD SWARMING BEHAVIOUR The scientiﬁc parameters in our bird swarm algorithm are choreographed by the artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta in order to channel the emotional impact of the performance. Each performance is site-speciﬁc and unique, and the drones will react to their environment in a calculated safe but for us unpredictable autonomous way. In addition to movement, light plays an essential role in Franchise Freedom. Each drone has a light source, the intensity and color of which are inﬂuenced by a multidimensional array of aerodynamic properties, emphasizing the density of the group.
FLYLIGHT MODES Flylight has 2 modes for the behavior of the lights. In ‘Flylight Mode’ the light moves in an unpredictable way, inﬂuenced by the sensors. This is the way Flylight is meant to behave. When you turn Flylight on it will go automatically in this mode. In ‘All On Mode’ all the lights are on at the same time and they have a consistent brightness. It is possible to dim the lights or make them more bright in both modes.
INTERACTIVITY Flylight is a site speciﬁc installation that interacts with its surroundings. It consists of delicate glass tubes that light up in response to external stimuli. The pattern in which the installation lights up has an interactive element and is not pre-programmed. All lights are on in a dimmed mode; a ‘swarm’ of brighter light slowly moves through the installation. Flylight constantly makes its own choices, the behavior does not repeat itself. The ceiling panels of the installation contain several sensors. They are placed according to the context and function of the space. The sensors can detect movement up to a distance of 7 meters. When approaching Flylight, the swarm of light may move towards you. After losing interest, the swarm will again ﬂuently follow its own movement.