"Migrations" depicts a migratory bird. This installation invites contemplation on the beauty and struggle of human and animal migration.

Dimensions: 19.5’ tall, 42’ wide, 16.5’ deep

Materials: Steel, Architectural Fabric

Lead Artist: Olivia Guethling - GuildWorks

Lead Design: Mar Ricketts - GuildWorks

Engineering & Metal Fabrication: Trevor Blackann - GuildWorks

LED System Design: Mikele Schnitman

Interactive Experience Design: Invisible Thread

Content & Storytelling: Reese Bowes

LED Programming & Patterns: Goodbeast

LED Patterns: Kris Northern

Project Contact: olivia@guildworks.com

Common Swifts migrate over 5,000 miles each season. Geese travel up to 3,000 miles and can find their exact birthplace. Born in Alaska, the Golden Plover can navigate over 3,000 miles nonstop to Hawaii without guidance from its parents. Their ability to find Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean still mystifies biologists. Over half of all animal species migrate — and they do so for a myriad of reasons.

Humans are no different. Human movement patterns date back approximately 2 million years ago when Homo Erectus spread throughout most of Africa. They were followed by Homo sapiens reaching almost every part of the world, migrating by foot, over approximately 10,000 generations within 250,000 years. Every step these early humans took is directly connected to all of us today. We are all descendants of migrating humans. In 2019, 272 million people migrated, crossing borders for a myriad of reasons.

Limited mobility may significantly impact our ability to stay resilient despite rapid changes to our collapsing climate. We dream of a habitable earth where all living creatures can find and make a home.

We are excited and proud to be part of 2024's Portland Winter Light Festival!

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"Migrations" premiered at Burning Man 2023

"Migrations" was designed, build, fabricated and made possible by GuildWorks, LLC

Our Philosophy

Building empathy and awareness for migration is the core intention of our installation. We hope that participants walk away with new perspectives on migration, memories of their own movements, and a sense of awe - the same awe one has when mesmerized by the beauty of a large swarm of birds, school of fish or herd of bison.