Show Kawabata x Takuto Usami

Category : GENERAL
By Show Kawabata x Takuto Usami (Japan)

What did you create?

The roar of a car engine, the billowing curtain pattern—everywhere around us we are surrounded by noise created by technology. This may all be noise to us humans, but from technology’s perspective the essence of these noises is to serve as footholds to recognizing reality. Perhaps there is a world of noise out there that only technology knows? It is a perspective that only technology knows, but which has been removed for us humans.
This works features two cloths (one with a white glossy sheen and the other a stretchy mesh) and by changing the direction, distance and color of light shining on the two cloths, visual noise (periodic shifts or distortions) is generated, which changes the pattern of the plant. A striped, moiré pattern is generated around the cloth, but a different pattern can be seen on the plant which is sandwiched between the two cloths. This shows a change in the noise coming from the uneven surface common to plants. By displaying fresh flowers and artificial flowers, it is possible to appreciate that the noises differ for living plantlife and artificial substances.



Why did you make it?

There are many things in our lives that people remove, such as noise, rust, stains, wrinkles. Technology also uses the characteristics of these things that we feel are unnecessary in our lives. This project was rolled out initially in a bid to look into how our everyday lives would change when we give meaning to the things we remove from our lives.

How did you make it?

In order to examine what kind of changes occurred in living things and substances due to the visual noise generated from two different fabrics, we used 3D printed polyhedrons and hemispheres cut with a cutting machine, randomly cutting the Styrofoam with a cutting machine to create an unevenness (image attached of memo used at the time of the experiment). Our experiments demonstrated that it is not the artificial substances that effectively produce visual noise, but the natural leaves and flowers. Our findings showed that visual noise was better produced with fine unevenness found in natural objects rather than less intricate uneven patterns. This resembles the phenomenon of how the wings of a butterfly, which have extremely intricate unevenness, produce different colors based on how the light interacts with the wings. Originally it was thought that the noise was reflected on plants when we made and announced the works, but as we continued with our examinations, we discovered that shadows also play a part. However, we are yet to explain the phenomenon of noise shadows.

How is your work used?

When viewers shine the LED camera lights from their smartphones on the works, it produces visual noise. It’s possible to generate visual noises even with other types of lights you may find lying around. By changing the direction, distance, and color of the light applied, we can change the visual noise produced from the plants.

Fab machines and software used

3D printer, Cutting machine, CNC milling machine, 3D Modeling and Design Software


  • Shiho Fukuhara
    Co-Founder, BCL / CEO, Poiesis Labs

    A moire that becomes a wave pattern and appears as an error is born in the weaving of a plant. Beauty can be found in these random patterns that are now being used as wood grain or water surface patterns. A moire that is an error born of industrial revolution looms, a “world of noise only known to technology”. Superimposing flowers or leaves has created a detailed unevenness that made me simply think, “Beautiful”. It is my belief that more works like this should be appreciated. Works of this genre are usually created through software, but I thought that it was interesting how this was created in a relatively analog way.