propagate, 2006-2010








propagate, 2006-2010

  • 14 feet wide circle shape.
  • September 2006. Lawrence Alloway Memorial Gallery, Stony Brook, NY
  • 16-channel sound where the sound generated LEDs.
    1 minute and 56 seconds interval.
  • Ash, burnished canvases, Logic Pro(Max/Jitter, 2006), Fostex Sound I/O(MOTU 828 Mark II), MOTU Traveler, original circuit, picture frames, MacBook(PowerBookG4, 2006), 2.5” speakers, speaker wire, transparent films, various seeds, and white LEDs.
  • — sound info —
    composer/editer: Takafumi Ide
    voice: Alton Frabetti(Italian), Angela Freiberger(Portuguese), Jin-Kang Park(Korean), Lance Chong(English, Mandarin), Raed Atoui(French, Arabic), Takafumi Ide(Japanese), Yana Kraeva(Russian), Apple computer(computer generated voice), (Hebrew), (Serbian)
  • — staff info —
    electronic assistant: Raed Atoui

The light and sound installation propagate is constructed with sixteen channels of sound. The sound waves are electronically linked to the voltage of sixteen LEDs, powering them and creating shadow images and light patterns in response to the volume. I utilize the sound and LEDs in hopes of creating an intimate feeling, like whispers in candlelight. Sixteen LED light and speaker structures hang from the ceiling in a circular shape from a polygonal steel frame. The steel frame, seventeen angles and sides, is attached on the ceiling. One of the sides does not have the hanging structure so the viewers are able to enter into the center of the installation.

The speakers project sixteen soundtracks comprised of voices speaking twelve languages: Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, and a computer generated voice. The sound of a fetal heartbeat is an overall undercurrent rhythm. The time-length of the sound is 1 minute and 56 seconds; it sounds like a short story of harmonized sound with voice, fetal heart-beat, and computer generated sound. The different qualities of sounds are produced from small speakers, which are mounted underneath a burned canvas that is part of each structure. The sound fills the gallery space. It reflects on the floor and the wall, and creates a rich aural environment in the space. Under each LED light there is a frame with a photograph of seeds and seedpods printed on a transparency film. Ash covers the frame and around the image. When the LED is lit, the light projected goes through a burnished canvas. A ghostly organic shadow image from the film is projected on a canvas that is hung under the frame, and also a shadow of the canvas is cast on the gallery floor.

When I create a new project, I choose a keyword. In propagate, I decided on the keyword birth. Based on my personal joy of having my second son, the subject for this project is the idea of retaining the thankfulness of the experience of giving life in these difficult times. Parents need to love, protect, share, nurture, and give hope to the new life. This drive is not only a need, but a desire to give of themselves.

The seed images symbolize the abstract impressions of the origin of life and growth, and the ash on the image denotes the idea of death. The crumbly burnished canvas suggests ephemeral life. The LED lights suspended at eye level suggest the spirit of life. When a viewer enters the circular installation, the viewer becomes a kind of sperm, impregnates, and revitalizes the womb-like space of the installation. I would like my work to be read in such a way, although the meaning of my installation is always dependent upon the viewer’s point of view.

Text by Takafumi Ide, May 2007 (edited in 2010)