Flap to Freedom

René Rieger
November 17th 2011

It works like this. Position yourself with a friend in front of a battery hen and flap your arms as fast as you can when the music sets in. The harder you flap the faster your bird will move towards a hole in the chain fence - which means freedom!

This installation was displayed at the Village Fete at the Victoria & Albert Museum, where young British designers show their talents. One of them, the creator of Flap to Freedom, is Chris O’Shea, an artist and designer who uses technology to create interactive environments.

O'Shea's work shows that machines and technology can respond to human needs in a fun and playful way.  However, Flap to Freedom doesn’t work like a rollercoaster or DVD player. Through the interaction emerges a certain connection between human and machine that could change our perception of them. It stands in the tradition of Philippe Starck’s design, which is intended to give the object a place in the human environment. The device becomes our companion and colleague.

Watch the video here.

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Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

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