Just in case you missed it, here are some stunning images from Duke Riley’s public artwork “Fly by Night”. We are completely mesmerized by the imagery and footage taken at this artful event in NYC! Who knew that pigeons rigged with LED lights could be so captivating!
Riley orchestrated a series of performances occurring regularly throughout late spring. At the call of a whistle, thousands of birds emerged from their home in a grand, converted historic boat docked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The pigeons circled above the river as the sun sets over Manhattan, and small leg bands, historically used to carry messages, were replaced with tiny LED lights, illuminating the sky in a transcendent union of public art and nature.
…Duke Riley’s Fly By Night brings the rock dove back to the forefront of the New York story once again, assembling an unprecedented fleet of specially trained birds that pay homage to the inhabitants of Cob Dock over 100 years later. Housed on a former naval aircraft carrier once used to train helicopter pilots, this new flight crew made up of Homers, Flights, Rollers, Tumblers, Tipplers, and even the ancient Syrian Damascene (the artist’s favorite), are Riley’s winged collaborators taking to the skies above Wallabout Bay. Twirling, swooping, and gliding – together, apart, and together again – Riley orchestrates an unpredictable flying composition. Like the birds themselves, no two performances are the same. Lacing together old New York and new, Fly By Night asks us to stop, watch, listen, and revere this extraordinary creature that has shared the triumphs and tragedies of the human experience – uniting individuals, cultures, and generations of fanciers in a tale of both the ancient and modern city.
– Meredith Johnson, curator