The Tenth Sentiment by Ryota Kuwakubo

“On the front of the model train running around the darkened room is a small, lit-up LED light. This train slowly navigates the room, which contains various large and small “objects,” according to the model rail route, throwing the shadows of the “objects” onto the walls and ceiling as it goes. Due to the movement of the light source, the shadows of the stationary “objects” move as images like views from the carriage windows, surrounding viewers with images as if they were passengers riding on the train.

The shadows projected in this work are created by the light source produced by the LED light attached to the modified model train. This light source is called “point light source.” Light radiates outwards from the light source and the shadows thus created are also projected radially. In an environment such as this, the closer the light to the position of an “object,” the larger the projected image becomes, and the further apart they are, the smaller the image. The elements comprising this work can be said to be “objects” physically placed alongside the model railway route, but they are also the point light sources and lines for the motion trajectory for each particular point, and can be said to be the cross-sectional surfaces of the “objects.” Moreover, as surfaces, the points that move along lines also move shadows. In this project, with its atmosphere similar to a magic lantern – which could be said to be the original imaging device – the light source projects the “objects” surrounding it as if it were a camera lens. These images seem somehow nostalgic, as if they are triggering memories in the minds of each of us.”

– from

I just saw this piece again in New York at the Transmutation show in the Highline Loft, and learned that the train has an Atmega chip on it with an IR receiver that gets signals embedded in the track. At certain intervals the LED illuminator and direction and speed of the train change, driven by the embedded code.

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