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Book Review

Lukas Felzmann - Swarm

By Tim O'Brien

Swarm by Lukas Felzmann, Lars Müller Publishers, 2011.

When first opening Lukas Felzmann's Swarm, it's easy to sink into the black and white landscapes under subjects that feel at times almost hand drawn. The aesthetic of small black dots that form flowing patterns across the images is similar to the pointillism technique found in a Seurat painting. The images begin to form a dialog between each other as more detailed perspectives emerge. There is a wonderful building process from the individual blackbird up to a large functioning group that can fend off predators, forage for food, and create rolling shapes across the sky. This process becomes visible from the variations between landscapes and closer more intimate portraits. When Felzmann brings the viewer into the flock the individuals start to show themselves.

Swarm by Lukas Felzmann, Lars Müller Publishers, 2011.

Systems outside of nature such as the stock market display the same emergence of order. The small parts of the market that are made up of resources, production, and distribution all have their own nuances that come together to make their values rise and fall. Just as the blackbirds in Swarm interact and dance around each other while foraging for food, fending off predators, and mating. Lukas Felzmann's photographs beautifully display the nuanced interacts between individual blackbirds and the dynamic forms that they create.

Swarm by Lukas Felzmann, Lars Müller Publishers, 2011.

Tim O'Brien: