The Tenth Sentiment

Ryota Kuwakubo (-> biography)


(c)2010 Ryota Kuwakubo

photo: KIOKU Keizo
photo courtesy: NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC]

the artistic concept

The Tenth Sentiment is an installation consists of four elements: light, object, space and time. It lets you evoke phenomenological experience rather than have fun with some new-tech.

In the dark room, there is a small point light source equipped on a model train. The train runs very slowly along the rail laid on the floor.  Various objects, most of them are daily commodities, are arranged around the rail. The light projects shadows of these objects. Since the light source comes very close to them, shadows are projected in extreme close-up on walls, floor and ceiling. It moves smoothly and slowly, so that the shadows look larger and heavier than the original materials are.

All the objects are placed precisely so that they remind you of some sights that you might have ever seen, such as a forest, power pylon, ruin, tunnel, gate, jetty, field, playground equipment and so on.  Though they look very common sights for many people, they are possibly reminiscent of your personal experience. Instead of representing some specific things directly, all the objects are arranged in subtle ways so that you can make a personal connection with them.

Additionally this installation has two different perspectives. When you view only projected moving shadows, this can be seen as an immersive screening system such as a virtual reality or a CAVE. You may feel as if you were on the train. In parallel, you can observe what is happening here. You can grasp the whole mechanism of the installation: just daily commodities arranged in certain ways with one moving point light.  So here you have both first-person (subjective) and third-person (objective) point of view. And you will be moving between these two modes every single moment.

By this means, this installation gives you layered and self-reflective appreciation. Since the whole process is based on simple and obvious mechanism, you will find yourself as a source of wonder if you find something wonderful about this installation.

technical realization  

spatial requirement

 - dark room with white walls and ceiling.
 - the dimensions of the room is W6676 x D8100 x H4500 (can be varied)
 - floor should be matte preventing undesired reflection of light.
 - see this document for detail

system and materials

 - A modified N-gauge model train equipped with LED, speed controled motor and infra-red receiver.
 - N-gauge rail with original infra-red transmitters. It controles train's running direction.
 - One outlet of electricity required (240V/60W). Power supplied to the train and transmitter via the rails.
 - Daily commodities.

how it works

 - In original installation, total distance of the nonloop rail is 20m.
 - The train goes forward and returns in approx 15 minutes. It repeats forever.
 - Return trip is x5 faster than forward. 
 - While a variant of this work is currently exhibited in Ars Electronica Center, both impressions are totally different.