LED-Equipped Pigeons To Illuminate NYC Skies In ‘Fly By Night’ Art Event

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — It gives a whole new meaning to the words “performance art.”

About 2,000 homing pigeons will illuminate New York City’s night sky in a project by Brooklyn-based artist Duke Riley.

The birds, each equipped with a remote-controlled leg band LED light attached to their leg, will be released at twilight from coops aboard a former aircraft carrier docked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The flock will swoop, twirl and glide over the East River for 30 minutes every weekend between May 7 and June 12. The event is described on its website as a “transcendent union of public art and nature.”

The Brooklyn Navy Yard was selected because it once housed the nation’s largest naval fleet of pigeon carriers.

“Fly by Night” also celebrates the dwindling pastime of pigeon keeping, as well as New York City’s relationship with the carrier pigeon.

According to the project’s website, Riley developed a fondness for pigeons when he was a child, and grew up raising the birds his whole life. Riley previously worked with pigeons in his 2013 project, Trading With The Enemy, where he flew carrier pigeons from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida.

The birds featured in the performances will be of Riley’s own flock and mix in a number of species. Pigeon enthusiasts will be able to spot several species of pigeon, including Homers, Tumblers and the Syrian Damascene.

Performances are scheduled for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with doors opening to the public between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance.

The project is presented by Creative Time.

Click here to request tickets and to learn more about the event.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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