Duke Riley Image via Creative Time Duke Riley
Image via Creative Time

Artist Riley has, for a long time, been fascinated by these speckled birds, telling the story of how, as a child, he rescued one. When he let the bird go, it flew back to him, a memory which is most likely to be the starting point of inspiration for many of his works, including his next work, which is in collaboration with Creative Time.

In 2013, Riley's project Trading with the Enemy landed the artist in hot water as he attached harnesses with Cuban cigars to his birds for a journey from Havana to Key West, Florida.

A friend of Riley's gifted him a manual on military pigeon-training which was labelled ''Top Secret, Restricted Access.'' The manual included a section on training birds to fly at night, as during World War II, Allies flew birds at night to ensure their messages were not intercepted by the Nazis.

And so Fly By Night was created, which will be a “moving constellation” of illuminated pigeons. Using leg bands, white lights will be attached to the legs of the birds in the same way messages were attached to pigeons during the war.

Fly By Night will take place at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on May 7, 2016. Get free tickets here.

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