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by I/O (Input/Output)
Location: Langham Place Hotel, Mongkok, Hong Kong
Artist(s): Dominic HARRIS
Date: 13 Oct - 25 Nov 2011

‘Flutter’ is a new interactive artwork by that explores the viewer’s encounter with a rabble of virtual butterflies. Set within a striking architectural framework and making use of cutting edge technologies, the artwork is a product of our on-going fascination with the motion of a butterfly’s flight and the iridescent reflections and scattering of light by the scales on a butterfly’s wing.

Flutter consists of a linear array of 88 vertical double-sided video fins projecting from a mirrored surface. Butterflies flash through these screens on virtual flight paths, visible for fleeting moments as the light irridesces off their wings.

The sequenced form of the installation references animation ideas first developed in the zoetrope, and its later successor, the praxinoscope. However, in a developmental move away from the linear time-sliced nature of these devices, the introduction of interactive control in ‘Flutter’ makes the ephemerality of the encounter influence its semiotics.

The butterfly has different meanings in different cultures, from being a symbol of life or death, luck or tragedy, nervousness or happiness. ‘Flutter’ explores these notions through cutting-edge interactivity – the movement of the viewer around the piece determines the scale of the butterfly’s flutter. By reaching out your hand a flying butterfly will respond, either by landing near you or by being scared away. In playing with the butterflies more intricate behaviours will be uncovered.


Flutter is viewable in the Lobby until 25th November 2011.

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