fly blimps - 2010
This installation consists of a series of 3 to 5 autonomous helium filled blimps whose movements are controlled by small collectives of houseflies. The flies are essentially the brain of each of the devices, determining how they interact and respond to the space as well as the other devices. Up to 50 houseflies live within the chambers attached to each blimp unit. These chambers contain food, water and allow the light needed to keep the flies alive and flourishing. The chambers also contain sensors that detect the changing light patterns produced by the movements of the flies. In real-time, the sensors send this information to an on-board micro-controller. This controller activates the motors connected to the propellers that direct the devices based on the actions of the flies. The floating, wandering blimps are separate but intersecting community vehicles. The flies exist in their own self-contained and self-sustaining worlds, collectively creating an amplified and exaggerated expression of group behavior.