We close our eyes and see a flock of birds
2013. - Wooden construction, polystyrene panels, white LED-lights, micro-controller, bench. 203 x 206 x 206 cm.
Up to five visitors are invited to sit on a bench in the middle of the cylindrical room, in which the screen of numerous LED lights covers the wall, and to close their eyes. Lights are programmed to flicker and visitors are exposed to the flashing light, which gives rise to a dream-like visual experience of moving images behind their closed eyes. Within their minds they see a stream of images: birds flying, people passing by, circles and spirals swirling... Each person sees their very own “movie”, a possible reminiscence of something long forgotten. The subjective hallucinatory “movie” is enclosed in one’s mind and imperceptible to anyone else, yet the experience of seeing is shared.
Project development and realization: Frank Spenling, Stefan Spenling, Sandra Aracic, Shira Wachsmann, Benni Kammerer
Installation views: Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, Museum of Old and New Art (MoNA), Hobart. Photos: Ivana Franke Studio
Visual experiences / research
In conjunction with the conference event Eternity, a project by Hannah Hurtzig / Mobile Academy in Haus der Wissenschaft in Braunschweig, where the installation was exhibited, students of IAK, TU Braunschweig experienced the installation. 52 participants were asked to draw images of what they saw with their eyes closed and to describe their experiences. Visual experience ranged from simple dot patterns to complex events.