Duke Riley, Fly by Night at the Brooklyn Navy Yard
In one of the more anticipated public art installations this summer, Duke Riley’s Fly by Night launched this past weekend. On both Saturday and Sunday evening, 1800 LED-lit pigeons flew in a coordinated dance off the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and for half an hour several hundred New Yorkers were nearly silent – a feat in itself. Fly by Night is an homage to many things – to the once crucial role of carrier pigeons in communication, to the domesticated Rock Dove so beloved and misunderstood by urbanites, to an industrial past undergoing rebirth at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
You can read about the aim of Fly by Night in our previous coverage but what we were struck by the most was the sound of nature – the flap of bird wings, the lapping of water, the caws of the pigeons – all melding peacefully amidst distance sounds of New York City.
The Bayland, before Fly by Night began
The blowing of whistles commanded this choreography of man and bird, which began shortly around 8 pm at the “magic moment, somewhere between civil and nautical twilight,” describes the Fly by Night introduction handed out to guests. It continues: “The air changes and the twinkling lights of the city begin to look up towards the stars. It is in this particular moment, when your ears are tuned to the wind and your eyes begin to shift from day to night,” that Fly by Night begins.
Below are more photographs from this event, that will repeat every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through June 12th. Information on how to sign up, also below.
Duke Riley, preparing for Fly by Night
Opening of Fly by Night
Pigeons in flight, with LED bands on their legs
A few pigeons took a break with us on the roof
This pigeon, a New York Flight, hung out here for the second half of the performance
Conclusion, birds at rest
Many readers have asked us via Instagram how to attend: Fly by Night will occur every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through June 12th. Tickets are waitlist only at this time but Creative Time is releasing additional tickets today. Yesterday, some attendees were admitted off the wait list as well.