Making of the installation A DAY for the Time! Time! Time! exhibition at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (2003)
Diary of A DAY
Above is a sketch made six months before we unveiled the exhibit. At this stage the plan was to use five projectors to play a string of giant visuals frame by frame allowing viewers to experience the passing of time in a different way to usual. The concept included a biological clock exhibit on the opposite wall. However budgetary constraints and other factors result in a gradual downsizing of the installation.
Late autumn 2002
The wall display is abandoned, and in its place, a decision made to place text alongside the control panel. The number of projectors is also reduced, to three, although by altering the resolution we manage to retain the long strip of frames.
At a florist in Inogashira Park, Tokyo, we purchase an oxalis, a plant that exhibits day/night movement, and promptly start test shooting, the idea being also to test the camera equipment. This involves experimenting with intervals for the time-lapse photography, and working out the overall dimensions of the visuals.
Start first outdoor shooting under a full moon at Shimoda on the Izu Peninsula. Taking a snap every 30 seconds, by the end of a day we have around 2900 JPEG files. These are made into a flipbook forming a frame-by-frame record of a single day.
The camera takes the photos automatically, however the sheer length of the take (24 hours) means we encounter a few hitches along the way: changing weather, for example. On this day it started to rain in the afternoon, and we stopped by numerous times to wipe rain and dew off the camera, but managed to break one anyway, despite having hardly got off the ground.
Mid-late January 2003
Test shooting at the metropolitan expressway at Shibuya, the idea being that from the chaos of traffic moving to and fro might emerge a rhythm of urban life.
Late January 2003
Off to the Honeybee Science Research Center at the Tamagawa University College of Agriculture in Tokyo. February is still early for wildflowers, so the daily cycle of honeybee activity might not be especially obvious. Now if it were April… But the show starts in March, so we decide to go ahead and shoot anyway, with help from the staff at the center.
Transparent walls allow the inner workings of the hive to be observed, with the hive connected to the outside by a pipe.
Late January 2003
Film from a high-rise hotel looking down on the streets and expressways of Tokyo, in an attempt to capture the rhythm of the city.
Early February 2003
Then straight down to Okinawa. Having searched on the internet for a farm grazing stock outside even in the cold of February, we call asking to film “a day in the life of a cow”. The farm is only too happy to oblige.
This farm had not just cattle but a whole menagerie of animals: dogs, goats, chickens, rabbits and wild boar.
And for some reason, llamas (which just seemed to be hanging around, free-range I guess you’d say). The owners of the farm, particularly the wife, were extremely helpful. Our thanks to them once again.
Late February 2003
Return to Tokyo and visit Kasuga-san, who will be editing the visuals, at his workplace o:g, where we hand over our entire stock of image data plus a proposed layout, and discuss plans. Three weeks now to opening.
Early March 2003
GK Tech of Takatanobaba, Tokyo joins project to build the system. Work with GK Tech president Ryuichi Iwamasa (far left) to check the mechanics of running a continuous strip of images on three projectors. Two weeks to go.
Around 10 March 2003
One week to opening. The task of setting up at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Odaiba, Tokyo) finally begins. Here Takahiro Shinkai (right) and Masamitsu Yamawaki of GK Tech are checking the controls for the turntable.
12 March 2003
Final on-site adjustments to visuals and sound as system setup continues. At the left rear is musician Kyo Ichinose. Work continues far into the night, with others in a last-minute rush to set up their exhibits frantic as us. Just four more days… :-)