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The Blue Morph

From: Claes Andreasson
Length: 01:08:08

The Sound of a Butterfly's Metamorphosis

Bluemorph1_small Imagine ever so lightly touching a butterfly pupa, feeling the tiny mechanical motions inside. Transform the motions into sound, and you can listen to the butterfly's metamorphosis. This is what nano scientist James Gimzewski and media arts professor Victoria Vesna, of Univ. of California-Los Angeles did. They felt and listened and created an interactive exhibit with extreme close-up photographs and the sound of the chrysalis' agonizing fight to become a pretty blue butterfly. Recently, they installed the exhibit in a very special building, The Integratron, in the high Mojave Desert east of Los Angeles. This is the story about the the Blue Morph.

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Piece Description

Imagine ever so lightly touching a butterfly pupa, feeling the tiny mechanical motions inside. Transform the motions into sound, and you can listen to the butterfly's metamorphosis. This is what nano scientist James Gimzewski and media arts professor Victoria Vesna, of Univ. of California-Los Angeles did. They felt and listened and created an interactive exhibit with extreme close-up photographs and the sound of the chrysalis' agonizing fight to become a pretty blue butterfly. Recently, they installed the exhibit in a very special building, The Integratron, in the high Mojave Desert east of Los Angeles. This is the story about the the Blue Morph.

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Review of The Blue Morph

"it's not so easy to become a fabulous being.'"

the transformation of a lowly caterpillar to a transcendent butterly is agonizing. the sounds are primordial, futuristic, and extraordinary--the sounds of outer space (if there was sound in outer space). what a gift to hear the atomic force microscope in an artwork.

the microcosm reflects the macrocosm in sound. if you seek, you will hear.

Broadcast History

The Blue Morph airs on one of Swedish National Public Radio's special internet radio channels, where you can also watch photos and video along with the audio documentary.

Late last year (2007) I produced a background story about the Blue Morph for WNYC's "Studio 360" - which is available to preview at:
http://www.studio360.org/episodes/2007/12/07/segments/89690

Transcript

The Blue Morph features:

Victoria Vesna, media artist and professor at the department of Design| Media Arts at the UCLA School of the Arts
James Gimzewski, distinguished professor, UCLA chemistry & biochemistry department

Exhibit Production: Tyler Adams
Andreas Colubri
Stefanie Adcock

Exhibit Audio: Gil Kuno
Butterfly Recordings: Andrew Pelling
Paul Wilkinson
Adam Stieg
Butterfly Audio: Claes Andreasson
Still photo: Victoria Vesna & Claes Andreasson
Recordist & Producer: Claes Andreasson
Read the full transcript

Timing and Cues

The Blue Morph can either play as one half-hour piece. Or it can be divided into segments:
START -- 1:21 (fully faded out)
ACT 1 -- 11:14 (fully faded out)
SCIENTIFIC INTERLUDE -- 2:58 (fully faded out)
ACT 2 -- 14:49 (fully faded out)

Suggested host intro:
Imagine ever so lightly touching a butterfly pupa, feeling the tiny mechanical motions inside. Transform the motions into sound, and you can listen to the butterfly's metamorphosis.
This is what nano scientist James Gimzewski and media arts professor Victoria Vesna, of Univ. of California-Los Angeles did. They felt and listened and created an interactive exhibit with extreme close-up photographs and the sound of the chrysalis' agonizing fight to become a pretty blue butterfly.
Recently, they installed the exhibit in a very special building, The Integratron, in the high Mojave Desert east of Los Angeles.
This is the story about the the Blue Morph.

Additional Files

Related Website

http://www.sr.se/p1/SRc/bluemorph/index.html