Johannes Bosgra

Title: Murmurations

About the Photo:

Starling murmurations form abstract landscapes in the sky in a sublime musical rhythm. Tens of thousands of starlings fly in swooping, intricately coordinated patterns. This ballet is executed as a perfect choreography, the birds manage uncertainty while also maintaining consensus. Starlings accomplish this by paying attention to a fixed number of their neighbors in the flock, regardless of flock density — seven, to be exact. In following this role of seven, then, the birds are part of a dynamic system in which the parts combine to make a whole with emergent properties — and a murmuration results. As the composer Schuman said, “we artists all strive to surpass nature with a work of art.” These murmurations are perfect proof that it will remain out of reach.