Flylight / 2015
glass, wire, electronics, halogen lights, anodised aluminium
CM H: 236 W: 200 L: 320
IN H: 92.9 W: 78.7 L: 126

While birds are the ultimate symbol of freedom, in a flock they move as one single entity, creating mesmerizing patterns. This flock behavior is an example of ‘self-organization’, meaning that no single bird leads the flight. Amazingly enough, each individual senses the speed and the direction of the group. This natural phenomenon was the source of inspiration for Flylight, for which the flock behavior was translated into specially developed agent-based software. The patterns in which the installation lights up are not preprogrammed but have an interactive compound – just like a real flock of birds.


Flylight questions the delicate balance between the group and the individual. Just like birds, people find
safety in a group, while at the same time they are forced to act according to a set of rules on which society functions. Who chooses total individual freedom above these rules is forced to operate outside of society. Where lies the perfect balance between the two?


With Flylight, Studio Drift reflects upon this question in both a poetic and aesthetic way.


Flylight is a site-specific art installation that directly interacts with its surroundings. It consists of delicate
glass tubes that light up in an unpredictable way, partially responsive to external stimuli. The light mimics the behavior of a flock of birds in flight, symbolizing the conflict between the safeness of the group and the freedom of the individual.

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About the artist

Dutch artists Lonneke Gordijn (1980) and Ralph Nauta (1978) founded studio DRIFT in 2007. With a multi-disciplinary team of 64, they work on experiential sculptures, installations and performances.

DRIFT manifests the phenomena and hidden properties of nature with the use of technology, in order to learn from the Earth’s underlying mechanisms and to re-establish our connection to it.

With both depth and simplicity, DRIFT’s works of art illuminate parallels between man-made and natural structures through deconstructive, interactive, and innovative processes. The artists raise fundamental questions about what life is and explore a positive scenario for the future.

All individual artworks have the ability to transform spaces. The confined parameters of a museum or a gallery does not always do justice to a body of work, rather it often comes to its potential in the public sphere or through architecture. DRIFT brings people, space and nature on to the same frequency, uniting audiences with experiences that inspire a reconnection to our planet.

DRIFT has realized numerous exhibitions and projects around the world. Their work has been exhibited in museums such as Stedelijk Museum (Solo); Victoria & Albert Museum (Group); Met Museum (Group); UTA Artist Space (Group); Garage Museum (Group); Mint Museum (Solo); Biennale di Venezia (Group); Pace Gallery (Group); Amos Rex Museum (Solo). Their work is held in the permanent collections of the LACMA; Rijksmuseum; SFMOMA; Stedelijk Museum; and Victoria & Albert Museum, amongst others. In 2019 DRIFT won the Dezeen award and in 2014, DRIFT was awarded the Arte Laguna Prize, Venice.

/ Deezen Awards: Designer of the Year | Winner with the work Franchise Freedom

/Dutch Design Awards | Nominated with Shylight

/ Best piece of Arte Laguna, Arsenale, Venezia (Flylight)
/ Artist in Residence ‘ART STAYS’, part of the Premio Arte Laguna Art Prize (Flylight)

/ Finest light sculpture / Interieur, Kortrijk (Fragile Future 3)

/ 1st Prize ‘ZomerExpo’ / Gemeentemuseum, Netherlands (Fragile Future 3.5)

/ The Moet Hennessy Pavilion of Art and Design London Prize 2010 (Concrete Chandelier)

/ International Design Prize ‘Lights of the future’ / German Design Council (Fragile Future)

/ Art prize 2006, 1st Prize Stichting ArtiParti (Fragile Future)
/ Young Talent Award, Stichting MS Research (Fragile Future)

/ Victoria and Albert museum London, UK| Fragile Future Concrete Light Sculpture
/ Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, NL| Shylight
/Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL) | Fragile Future Light Sculpture
/ Atlanta High Museum of Art, USA| Fragile Future 3.13
/ Louis Vuitton collection, CN, JP, HK| Fragile Future
/ San Francisco MOMA,USA| Ghost chair and numerous private collections
/ Museum Voorlinden, NL | Flylight

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