untitled, interactive installation in collaboration with Yuichiro Nishizawa
electronics, cotton fabric, wood, steel, PVC & copper, 10’ x 13’ x 12’ h, 2001
Purpose: By creating an immersive environment for physical and imaginative exploration, we hope to evoke a heightened sense of perception and to propagate contemplation in the participant.
Participant experience: Movement transforms physical space and imaginative space. After parting a heavy sheet to enter a dark room (ideally alone), and allowing time for his/her eyes to adjust, the participant encounters a large number of white fabric sheets suspended from above, a layered mass looming in the darkness. This group has a clear border in front of the participant's position, like the edge of a forest. Standing there in the near-dark, he/she is literally faced with the unknown and must make a choice. If the participant remains outside of the group of sheets, nothing happens. The fearful may elect to leave the space altogether. The more trusting may decide that the situation poses no threat and step into the sheets, at which point small, diffuse red lights are seen slowly coming on deeper inside the group and all around the participant. Programmed light patterns are designed to stimulate curiosity and to draw one deeper into the space. They pulse on and off in a calm and regular "breathing" manner, but out of sync with one another--the effect is similar to being in a field of fireflies, and anxiety melts into comfort and warmth. The activity continues all around the participant as long as he/she is in motion; once he/she chooses to leave the mass of sheets, the light activity gradually grows quiet, until darkness is complete again.