The Way of the Sea, Flying Beyond Borders - Colors of Life

teamLab, 2018, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

This work begins when a shoal of fish, The Way of the Sea, leaves a room and crosses the boundaries of other works, sometimes influencing the works, and moves around freely.

The school of fish illuminated by the light move freely through spaces, and their trails of light become spatial calligraphy. The fish sense people in the space and try to avoid colliding with them.

“The way of the bird” is a saying in Zen which refers to the fact that unlike a human road the road of the bird is not fixed. It means freedom and leaving no trace. Here the birds are replaced with fish.

The movement of thousands or tens of thousands of fish is beautiful and mysterious, like a single giant life form. The school of fish has neither a leader nor mutual consensus, but just moves on the simple basis of; if my neighbor moves, then I move, too. However, the biological mechanism that causes hundreds of fish to move at the same time is still enigmatic. It seems there is a universal principle that human beings do not yet understand. The group of trails of light drawn in the space have no meaning as a whole, while being influenced by the existence of people, the lines are drawn by the movement of each fish that seems to obey some kind of primitive rule.

The work is not a pre-recorded image that is played back; it is based on a computer program that continuously renders the work in real time. The interaction between people and the installation causes continuous change in the artwork; previous visual states can never be replicated, and will never reoccur. The picture at this moment can never be seen again.