It’s 2018, and pigeons are art now.
Nope, it’s not some strange city beautification project. American artist Duke Riley is attaching LED lights to the small matter of 1500 pigeons, and will be letting them loose on the skies of London this weekend. Before you erupt in a barrage of questions (like “how will they come back at the end?” and “just why?”), take a look at the last time this work was performed.
Fly by Night, as the work is known, is a beautiful mess of light trails, determined entirely by the pigeons. It’s only been performed once before, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York, back in 2016. As part of the London International Festival of Theatre, Riley’s work will once again take flight, this time at Thamesmead. Yes, that’s a long way east, but there’s a hidden meaning to the location. Fly by Night will celebrate the role of pigeon messengers in WW1, a conflict in which Thamesmead’s Royal Arsenal played a key role.
It certainly is an impressive way to honour the humble pigeon, and you can bet the results will be utterly mesmerising. Oh, and the pigeons are highly trained, so they won’t be going rogue across the country. Fly by Night takes place between June 21st and 23rd, launching at 7:30pm every night. Once thing’s for sure, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for pigeons once this installation has finished.
Book tickets and find out more from the London International Festival of Theatre website.
Featured image: @ennikukka