Armin Linke: Flocking

The focus of this cinematic work on flocks of birds is the range of topics between collective behaviour, complex systems and self-organised structures, as well as the difficulty to differentiate between an artistic and a scientific image production.

Armin Linke: “Flocking”

Armin Linke: “Flocking”. Film still

Italy 2008
13:40 min, with no spoken words
Available 13 August, 10:00 – 20 August, 23:59

Flocking, a transdisciplinary film project at the intersection of scientific research and art production, was developed during a cooperation between the Centre for Statistical Mechanics and Complexity (SMC) at the University La Sapienza in Rome, the faculties of Photography and Media Art 3D at the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe (HfG) and the ZKM Karlsruhe. Through their use of camera technique and 3D visualisation, the results of the research at the University of Rome offer new conclusions on the behaviour within flocks of birds. The studies analysing the coordination of flocks of birds are based on sequential photographs. Using these photographs, three-dimensional data is generated to derive systems on the behaviour of individual birds within the flock. The data is of interest not only for the fields of biology and physics, but also for economists and sociologists.

The aesthetic quality of the images, that are created on an objective basis and without any artistic background, reminds one of romantic typologies such as panorama and landscape painting or photographs of artists like William Turner, Casper David Friedrich or Luigi Ghirri, as well as Eadweard Muybridge’s work on kinetics and animals.


A film by Ulrike Barwanietz, Maša Bušic, Irene Giardina, Herwig Hoffmann, Johanna Hoth, Giuseppe Ielasi, Samuel Korn, Armin Linke, Renato Rinaldi, Marc Teuscher