This clever installation examines the collective behaviour of birds. Father and son duo Simon and Anton Grimes have mimicked the way gulls harass...

Watch Your Chips!

Location:

The Rocks
2000 NSW
Australia

Image. A flock of glowing white seagulls looms overhead, light patterns playing across their outstretched wings give the impression of  movement and flight. When a visitor touches a virtual bag of hot chips,  the gulls screech and swoop for the food in a whirl of flapping wings.Watch your chips!
Image. A flock of glowing white seagulls looms overhead, light patterns playing across their outstretched wings give the impression of  movement and flight. When a visitor touches a virtual bag of hot chips,  the gulls screech and swoop for the food in a whirl of flapping wings.Watch your chips!

Event Details

Artist:
Simon Grimes (United Kingdom)

Collaborators:
Anton Grimes (Australia) / Kaan Seven (Australia)

This clever installation examines the collective behaviour of birds. Father and son duo Simon and Anton Grimes have mimicked the way gulls harass humans, following us around, angling to snatch whatever we are eating. Especially, when hot potato chips are involved. They have adapted well, learning where their ‘prey’ is most available and abundant. By the seaside. Where people go on holiday. Wherever we eat outside. These raucous scavengers are everywhere.

Gliding and soaring, their wings beat slowly as they scan the waves and ground below for anything to eat. Watch as a flock of gulls drifts gently across the sky, graceful, but always vigilant, looking for food. They seem so peaceful and solitary, until...they spy a bag of chips.

Suddenly they turn into a screeching mob. Converging in a flurry of beating wings, they fight for their prize and ruin another family day at the beach. This is a universal problem, a scourge abhorred by Australians and visitors from around the world.

The simple pulsing LED wingbeats of each acrylic gull are independent of one another, seemingly random, yet if anyone touches the chips, a flocking algorithm makes the wingbeats quicken and the gulls circle over the prize. Only one will win, and they scatter again to resume their vigil, waiting and watching. Are you feeling brave? Can you reach for the chips without a hungry mob gathering over your head?

Country represented by installation: Australia

Audio Description

Access and Inclusion

  • Audio described - Audio description is a service provided for patrons who are blind or have low vision. Trained audio describers give live, objective, verbal descriptions.
  • Wheelchair accessible - Access to the venue is suitable for wheelchairs (toilets, ramps/lifts etc.) and designated wheelchair spaces are available.