butterflies, 2007








butterflies, 2007

  • 13’ x 13’ x 26’
  • August 2007. The Carriage House, Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY
  • 3-channel sound and the sound generated LEDs.
    3 minutes and 56 seconds interval.
  • 3” speaker, bamboo, canvas strecher, CD player, heat shrink, LED, original circuit, plexiglass, and speaker wire.
  • — sound info —
    composer/editer: Takafumi Ide
    female voice: Shannan Lee Hayes
    male voice: Takafumi Ide

butterflies, a site-specific installation for the Carriage House at the Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY, was shown in the exhibition Project’07 in summer 2007. The installation was based on three board-covered windows in the gallery space, room#6. The idea for butterflies came to my mind when I attended an Open House at the Carriage House. I stayed in the space for a while. After spending some time in the space, I noticed that there were three large windows on the east side. I wondered about how people must look through these windows and optimistically imagine their future. At the same time, the impression from the board-covered windows was disturbing. Since the room was painted completely black, I imagined that there were many spirits that couldn’t find their way home: a trapped feeling.

I used three identical structures. I created three complementary frames in which visitors are invited to watch themselves appear and disappear under the blinking light. The light and speaker structures were suspended from the ceiling in front of the frames. Each structure had a 3” speaker and a LED light. The speaker, suspended between two wires by a narrow bamboo rod, was placed above the audience’s head. Under the speaker there was a LED light placed at my hand level when I stretched my hand toward the ceiling.

The gallery space was almost pitch dark so that audience needed to stay for a while in order to interact with the installation. Before audience adjusted their eyes, they heard the three-channel interval sound with sound activated three blinking LED lights. There were two-channel female voice with music and one male voice with breathing from the speakers. One female voice channel said, “Who are you?” “What are you doing?” “Where are you going?” And other female voice said, “Is that you?” “Are you with me?” “Can you hear me?” The male voice answered or talked to himself, “Yes, I am.” “It’s going to be OK.” “I don’t know.” The nostalgic music, breathing noise, and mysterious voice produced the evocative atmosphere. Once audience adjusted their eyes, they saw their reflected image in the frames like hovering ghosts.

Text by Takafumi Ide, January 2008 (edited in 2010)