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The Way of Birds

teamLab, 2020, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

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The Way of Birds

teamLab, 2020, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

The birds illuminated by the light move freely, and their trails of light become spatial calligraphy. The birds sense people in the space and try to avoid colliding with them.


The movement of a flock of thousands or tens of thousands of birds is beautiful and mysterious, like a single giant life form. The flock has neither a leader nor mutual consensus, but just moves on the simple basis of: if my neighbor moves, then I move, too. However, the biological mechanism that causes flocks of hundreds of birds to move at the same time is still enigmatic. It seems there is a universal principle that human beings do not yet understand. The group of trails of light drawn in the space has no meaning as a whole, while being influenced by the existence of people, the lines are drawn by the movement of each bird that seems to obey some kind of primitive rule.


If you stand in the space, the boundary between the walls and floor disappears, the real space dissolves, you become drawn into the installation, the trails of the birds begin to appear drawn in three dimensional space, and the boundaries between the human body and the work begin to break down.


The artwork is not a pre-recorded image that is played back: it is created by a computer program that continuously renders the work in real time. The interaction between people and the installation causes continuous change in the artwork: previous visual states can never be replicated, and will never reoccur. The picture at this moment can never be seen again.