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April - June 2014

A continuation of the WingWaves-experiment.

'A moving painting, consisting of six mirrors on a wall with each a paper wing and a small ventilator. When you approach the birds, they will try to fly away, which turns out to be impossible since they are only half bird; the other half of the bird only exists in the mirror on the imaginary other side of the wall.'

This is the description of the WingWaves-experiment that I did in 2011. Ever since I started with this idea, I wanted to make a version that was human sized: over-sized wings blocking a narrow passageway. With wings attached to mirrors, so one wing can form a complete bird: a single wing will never be able to fly away on it's own, but since it gets help of an imaginary wing on the other side of a mirror, a bird is formed. It creates a feeling of symmetrical flight.

I developed the installation during the DordtYart Artist in Residence program. DordtYart is located in a harbor area, this means that seagulls are a vital part of the landscape. Birds always keep a certain distance, which surounds them with an admirable feeling of freedom. They are very visible and very real, but at the same time intangible. With my installation I want to give people a glimpse of this sensation, while they are surrounded by the dynamics of the wings that give birds their image of freedom.

One of the aims of my work is to create complex behavior with simple systems. I specifically didn't want to create a very complex system to move the wings. I conducted a research into flight-dynamics, anatomy of wings and behaviour of birds. From this research I developed a system with only a (geared) DC-motor and a lever construction that approximates the movement of a hybrid, non-existing bird. The final composition is made by giving each wing-module a slightly different speed. This way, the wing-modules go through a movement cycle together. The wings synchronize and desynchronize their movements; the wing-movements change every time you look at it.

Weblog about the making process: