The Butterfly (2001)
2006, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, South Room: Light Curtain and The Butterfly
“The Butterfly”  is a roughly 10′ tall handmade interactive silk creature that moves and lights in response to human closeness.
Each butterfly wing is a synthesis of silk, paint, and electronics. The butterfly wings are controlled by specially designed printed circuit boards and analog proximity circuits cut to fit within the painted silk. Woven LEDS run from these boards throughout the painted wings, lighting up in animation as a user is near.
Each wing floats on a center axis, counter balanced, and pulled by a network of motors and pulleys. The butterfly is suspended on steel piping, that attaches to the floor and ceiling purely through compression. Each wing is lit with black lights from its antenna.
The butterfly eye piece is composed of 2 lenses , a small TV screen and hidden video camera that captures and projects the user. From afar, the piece glows with abstract pixels that resemble the curvature of an actual insect eye. Only when up close (very close) do you begin to see actual shapes in the lens….. on closer inspection these shapes become eyes, and even closer, you realize the eyes are your own.
Each wing has 6 different areas that can sense human movement. As you move closer to a wing, it will move away from you at the same speed of your movement.
Videos of the Butterfly (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a high res DVD of these videos)