Motion Studies: The Art and Science of Bird Flight

Fernanda D’Agostino, Harry Dawson, Bret W. Tobalske

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter presents Motion Studies, an artwork that brought together investigations into bird flight, at the intersection of art and science. At the core of the project were motion studies undertaken in a flight laboratory and translated into video. Motion Studies used a fluid dynamics imaging system known as digital particle velocimetry to compare the nature of birds’ flights in different conditions. The footage was later edited into an experimental art video that combines location footage, archival imagery and a digitally altered sound track of wild birds’ calls. Motion Studies has been exhibited around the world as both a single-channel video and as part of a video installation. Insights gained while working on the art video have led to promising new scientific research directions for the team and to a series of related art works.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Series on Cultural Computing
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameSpringer Series on Cultural Computing
ISSN (Print)2195-9056
ISSN (Electronic)2195-9064


  • Laser Flash
  • Motion Study
  • Particle Image Velocimetry
  • Wild Bird
  • Wind Tunnel


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