The Murmuration Is The Flock Itself, The Susurrus Is The Sound It Produces


Videos of starling murmurations are numerous yet always enchanting. However, but this clip from Jan van IJken’s documentary short film The Art of Flying is exceptional because of the sound. From the video’s youtube page:

We know a lot of factual information about the starling—its size and voice, where it lives, how it breeds and migrates—but what remains a mystery is how it flies in murmurations, or flocks, without colliding. This short film by Jan van IJken was shot in the Netherlands, and it captures the birds gathering at dusk, just about to start their “performance.” Listen well and you’ll be able to hear how this beautiful phenomenon got its name.

Farm To Table


This is a clip from the film Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke (also the director of Baraka and the director of photography for Koyaanisqatsi) packs a real punch, without saying a word. If you are not too squeamish, stick to the end, the last scene is the kicker. This is not comfortable or pleasant viewing. It is dystopian and confronting and robotic. Both tragic and beautiful. And definitely worth a watch.

Don’t let this stop you from watching the entire film though.

Samsara is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. Filmed over a period of almost five years and in twenty-five countries, Samsara transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, Samsara subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.

ICR Dandelion

Gravity Is A Mistake

I typically prefer roller coasters over the dizzy, spinney, types of amusement rides. However, the rides being engineered by the Institute For Centrifugal Research (ICR) look like a barrel of fun. But not only is the IRC trying to create good times, they’re attempting to increase the cognitive function of their riders through centrifugal research. While most of their rides are for adults only, Dr. Nick Laslowicz is hoping that the Centrifuge Brain Project will theoretically improve the passenger’s cognitive abilities through “achievements in the realms of brain manipulation, excessive G-Force and prenatal simulations.”

Blueprints for some of the rides developed by the ICR can be found below:

ICR Spheroton

ICR Dandelion

The IRC has lofty goals of having “These machines provide total freedom by cutting all connection from the world you live in – communication, responsibility, weight.” The amusement park rides are said to have created profound experiences “Which in many people in many people resulted in the readjustment of key goals and life aspirations.” However, as you’ll see from the video below these goals have come at a cost.


All images and videos via Till Nowak

More videos and images about the project can be found at the IRC website.