disperse, 2007






disperse, 2007

  • dimensions variable
  • November 2007. Sculpture Space, Utica, NY
  • Single channel sound and the sound generated 12Volt naked lamp. Approximately 1 minutes
    45 seconds interval.
  • 12 Volt naked lamp, CD player, original circuit, sand, speaker, and speaker wire.
  • — sound info —
    sound source: noise from rubbing artist’s hand with sand
    sound edit: Takafumi Ide

disperse, a site-adjusted light and sound installation, was created when I was in the Artist-in-Residence Program at Sculpture Space in fall 2007.

This installation, disperse, was just happened during the residence program. I needed to dry sand for a sand blaster. It was around 11 p.m. in late November, and snow started to fall. I decided to spread and dry out the sand inside the studio space. Actually, I did this not only drying the sand, but also, I wanted to focus on one activity in order to forget the unpleasant situation I had at that time.

First I roughly spread the sand with annoyance, and then I realized that I had to spread the sand evenly on the floor in order to dry fast. I redid it, but calmly this time. While I was doing so, I noticed the beauty of sand and its form. I found my ghostly figure shadow on the wall, but beautiful silhouette that looks like a person pray. Then, I realized the fact that I was healed by this activity. I started to make a documentation of this performance.

As an artist, I wanted to share this experience to audience; the beauty of nature by using the light and shadow. As a result, I created the sand art that constructed with sand, sound and light with simple technology. There is sound, which came from my video documentation that captured the noise such as rubbing sand with my hands, scrubbing the floor, and some unexpected noise during the performance while I was spread the sand. The volume of recorded noise activates the luminosity of a 12 Volt naked light bulb that is hung from the ceiling. There is about 1/3” height of 8’ x 10’ sand, which I scattered over, on the studio floor. The light bulb, locates in the center of the sand, is suspended a few inches above the ground. The studio space is full of the performance noise and the sparkling light. Audience may perceive the shadow of the rough sand surface when the light bulb blinks. One of the audiences told me, “The shadow of the sand is beautiful with the rhythmical noise. I see you spread the sand over and over here. It looks like Sand Mandala that never exist forever.” I like the way she explained.

Unlike Sand Mandala, an ancient art form of Tibetan Buddhism, disperse is not represent any specific religion, world or relationship, but the audience may be able to envision the world that doesn’t have any boundary in the work. After several years I created disperse, I can see the meaning of making this art. I may try to find a place where I do “nothingness” = “Mu” in Japanese. The sand represents endless emptiness, which could be peacefulness. At that same time, I can see the grey-ish sand like ash, which I often use to infer death.

The experience of beauty that comes from my use of light, sound, and atmosphere moves the audience emotionally. By creating these experiences physically through art objects/installations, I am helping myself to get over my walls and feel. My art does not exist without the audience experiencing it.

Created during a residency at Sculpture Space and funded in part by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and NYSCA.

Text by Takafumi Ide, December 2009 (edited in January 2012)