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2631 Starlings

August 2019

‘2631 Starlings’ is about the gap between a living thing and any representation of that thing. It is about the gap between the shark and the stuffed shark.

The project developed an agent-based model using original mathematical biology research to simulate starling murmuration. A video of 2631 starlings moving and pulsating is shown on a display immediately next to a display showing the simulation of 2631 polygonal starlings.

Scientific Beginnings

'2631 Starlings' was born out of a research project at McGill University with Aashna Uppal into starling murmuration. These patterns have long fascinated me and I dived into the chance to look at more sophisticated models of these complex biological systems.

The model itself is based overwhelmingly on the paper 'Self-organized aerial displays of thousands of starlings: a model' by H. Hildenbrandt C. Carere and C.K. Hemelrijka. Thanks to the blessings of Open Access academia, the paper is available for free here.

Into Art

It explores the gap between the simulation and reality of nature.


The code behind the project is available here

And below is a video of the simulated Starlings.

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