A Murmuration As Art Installation


A Murmuration As Art Installation

Starling murmurations are amazing. The way in which they pulse and move together as one form that continuously moves as an organic whole. Almost like they have become a single jellyfish, or a single puff of undulating smoke. Just blows my mind really.

Murmurations really first caught my attention in Shane Carruth’s movie Upstream Color. Our two (manipulated) protagonists stand and watch as starlings pulse and move across the sky. It was a metaphor for the movie. The birds actually told the story of what these two characters were going through, parts of a larger cohesive unit, they just didn’t know it yet. And it was in these intense visuals that Carruth threw at us that really caught my imagination. It’s perfect and yet unexpected. It’s amorphous and yet it has form. It is imperfect, and yet it is whole and perfectly formed. Wait, if you’ve never seen a Starling Murmuration – just take a gander at this first…

Just absolutely phenomenal. Right? Well, now, there is an artist that has replicated the idea of the murmuration in a pulsing and undulating sculpture.

A kinetic sculpture by artist Reuben Margolin consisting of 400 acrylic rods which move up-and-down and side-to-side. The sculpture mimics the murmuration of starlings, one of nature’s most extraordinary sights with the movement of a few hundred birds conveying a sense of suspended reality. But, according to Margolin, things of such beauty don’t actually make for good sources of inspiration as “inspiration isn’t something like a net that can be cast over a beautiful object, then drawn in.” Instead the sculpture finds its origins from a conversation with his five-year-old daughter when he asked her what waves do.

Pretty sweet little contraption. Mesmerizing. Personally spent 2 days off and on coding a similar pulsing rhythmic creation that would move by clustering groups of numbers in order to approximate a similar effect. Then started building my own C++ routine when I found out that it was possible. But my concentration levels aren’t what they used to be. Always on to the next thing! hahah. Anyway, thought I would share this awesome murmuration wave with you all.