Flock

Sagmeister & Walsh Beauty Show

Animal swarms, like murmurations of starlings, families of sardines, and clouds of gnats, emerge through simple rules followed by the individual animals. In the case of flocking birds, these are:

  • separation: avoid getting too close to your neighbors
  • alignment: match the direction and speed of your neighbors
  • cohesion: steer toward the middle position of your neighbors.

Flock, commissioned by Stefan Sagmeister for Sagmeister & Walsh's touring Beauty Show, allows visitors to explore these simple rules by varying them.

A large projection screen picturing a stream of hundreds of small birds in a loopy pattern, in a large museum hall during a crowded art opening

Museum für angewandte Kunst

Vienna 2018–2019

Austrian culture minister Gernot Blümel and creative directors Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh approaching the Flock podium during the opening speech

Austrian culture minister Gernot Blümel (center) and creative directors Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh approaching the Flock podium during the opening speech at Museum für angewandte Kunst in Vienna

Austrian culture minister Gernot Blümel at a podium with knobs with a crowd behind him

Austrian culture minister Gernot Blümel playing with Flock during his opening speech

A woman with a wine glass standing behind a podium with knobs looking up

"Then the museum atrium already starts to poke at your prejudices and beliefs...and offering one particular exhibit I could happily have stared at for hours: a huge video simulation of a flock of birds you can influence through a console."

Visiting Vienna exhibition review

Floor to ceiling projection screen in a clean museum space, featuring two blobs of small birds, next two a wall featuring a series of bags with circular graphics on them

Museum Angewandt Kunst

Frankfurt 2019–2020

Person standing in front of console in front of a projection of Flocking birds

Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe

Hamburg 2020

Console in front of a projection of Flocking birds

Fondation Entreprise Martell

Cognac 2021

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