Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together – A Whole Year per Hour

teamLab, 2015, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

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Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together – A Whole Year per Hour

teamLab, 2015, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

This artwork is in continuous change, over a period of one hour a seasonal year of flowers blossoms and scatters.

The flowers bud, grow, and blossom before their petals begin to wither, and eventually fade away. The cycle of growth and decay repeats itself in perpetuity. The flowers are interactive, depending on the proximity of the viewer to the work, or if the viewer touches the flowers, the flowers simultaneously come to life, or shed their petals wither and die all at once.

Neither a pre-recorded animation nor on loop, the work is rendered in real time by a computer program. The interaction between the viewer and the installation causes continuous change in the artwork; previous visual states can never be replicated, and will never reoccur.

In spring in the Kunisaki Peninsula there are many cherry blossoms in the mountains and rapeseed blossoms at their base. The abundance of flowers caused us to wonder how many of these flowers were planted by people and how many were native to the environment. It is a place of great serenity and contentment. It also offered the realization that this expansive body of flowers is an ecosystem influenced by human intervention. The boundary between the work of nature and the work of humans is extremely vague. Rather than nature and humans being in conflict, a healthy ecosystem is an ecosystem that includes people. Unlike people of today, people in the past lived on the assumptions that humans cannot grasp nature in its entirety, and that it is not possible to control nature. These people, who lived for a long time more closely aligned to the rules of nature, perhaps created this comfortable natural environment.

In pre-modern times people flourished by the sea, but in the modern era secluded islands were created along roads inland. Perhaps there is something of the pre-modern relationship between nature and people left in these islands, and we wonder how humans behaved when living under the assumptions that nature cannot be controlled or grasped in its entirety.