Tiny Art for All
June 9th – August 4th, 2023
Tiny Art for All is sponsored in part by the Mass Cultural Council

My project is a multi-layered artwork inspired by the forms of bird flocks and other natural grouping behaviors. Composed of forms on transparent sheets that will be added weekly, I will create an abstraction with a sense of movement based on the rules of flock movement, the shapes of which are an emergent phenomenon arising from many individuals interacting.

(Pictures of work in progress to come)

Murmuration is the specific word for a flock of starlings. The purpose of forming such large flocks may be to evade predators, share information, or to find a place to roost as a group. Individuals of a large flock or other grouping decide how to move based on 3 principles:

  • Separation – each bird avoids colliding with its neighbors
  • Alignment – each bird heads in generally the same direction as 6 or 7 of its nearest neighbors
  • Cohesion – stay in the general vicinity of the other birds
The movement and form that emerge from this arise from the choices of individuals with no apparent leader.

The characteristics of flocks are of enough interest to scientists that in 1986, Craig Reynolds created a program named Boids that simulated the motion and behavior of a flock. Several places online where you can play with Boids are:



©Walter Baxter/Wikimedia Commons