Created and Sold by DRIFT

Lighting Design by DRIFT seen at High Tech Campus Eindhoven, Eindhoven - Flylight


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Flylight is a site-specific art installation that directly interacts with its surroundings. The light mimics the behavior of a flock of birds in flight, symbolizing the conflict between the safety of the group and the freedom of the individual.

While birds are the ultimate symbol of freedom, in a flock, they move as one single entity creating mesmerizing patterns. This flock behaviour is an example of ‘self-organization’, meaning that no single bird leads the flight. Amazingly enough, each individual senses the speed and the direction of the group.

This natural phenomenon formed a source of inspiration for Flylight, for which the flock behavior was translated into agent-based software that was specially developed for this work. It consists of delicate glass tubes that light up in an unpredictable way, partially responsive to external stimuli. The pattern, in which the installation lights up, is not pre-programmed but rather has an interactive compound: just like a real flock of birds.

The work questions the delicate balance between the group and the individual. Just like birds, people find safety in a group, while at the same time they are forced to act according to a set of rules on which society functions. The one who chooses individual freedom above these rules, is forced to operate outside of society. Where, then, lies the perfect balance between the two?

Context & Credits


Meet the Creator

DRIFT explores the relationship between nature, technology and mankind. Their working process involves unique craftsmanship and critical engagement.

Dutch artists Lonneke Gordijn (1980) and Ralph Nauta (1978) founded studio DRIFT in 2007. With a multi-disciplinary team of 64, they work on experiential sculptures, installations and performances.

DRIFT manifests the phenomena and hidden properties of nature with the use of technology in order to learn from the Earth’s underlying mechanisms and to re-establish our connection to it.

With both depth and simplicity, DRIFT’s works of art illuminate parallels between man-made and natural structures through deconstructive, interactive, and innovative processes. The artists raise fundamental questions about what life is and explore a positive scenario for the future.

All individual artworks have the ability to transform spaces. The confined parameters of a museum or a gallery does not always do justice to a body of work, rather it often comes to its potential in the public sphere or through architecture. DRIFT brings people, space and nature on to the same frequency, uniting audiences with experiences that inspire a reconnection to our planet.

DRIFT has realised numerous exhibitions and projects around the world. Their work has been exhibited at Victoria & Albert Museum (2009, 2015); Met Museum (2010); Stedelijk Museum (2018); UTA Artist Space (2019); Garage Museum (2019); Mint Museum (2019); Biennale di Venezia (2015); Pace Gallery (2017) amongst others. Their work is held in the permanent collections of the LACMA; Rijksmuseum; SFMOMA; Stedelijk Museum; and Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2014, DRIFT was awarded the Arte Laguna Prize, Venice.