Simple in conception, yet awesome in execution, Fly by Night is a performance that transforms the commonplace into the sublime.
Conceived and presented by Duke Riley, this incredible public art project takes 2,000 common urban pigeons- you know, the kind you wish would disappear from city life forever- and fits them with tiny LED lamps, and then lets them fly overhead at the Brooklyn Navy Yard just as the sun sets. The result is almost beyond description. The majority of the birds fly in swooping, circular patterns above the mesmerized onlookers, creating a lovely light show of streaks in the sky reminiscent of falling stars.
Not all the birds follow the flock, however. The strays can be seen tracing their own unique paths, adding to the feeling that the art you are seeing is nature-based and unique- a pattern only revealed once, by forces us humans simply cannot control.
The birds take off from their home on board the docked, decommissioned navel aircraft the Baylander which has been retrofitted as a roost for the thousands of pigeons used in the project. The display can be seen at the Brooklyn Navy Yard every weekend until June 12. This is one New York experience you will want to have.