Levitation

teamLab, 2021, Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

Levitation

teamLab, 2021, Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

A sphere levitates in the space between the floor and ceiling, floating up and down as through transcending the concept of mass. The sphere falls to the ground and rolls away when people hit or impact it. But if there is no external interference, it will slowly rise into the air again, as though restoring itself to its original state.


What is life? Viruses, for example, are considered to exist somewhere between living and inanimate because they do not have cells, the smallest unit of biological life, and they do not reproduce. What separates the living from the inanimate cannot be defined biologically to this day.


That you continue to be tomorrow who you are today is against the law of increasing entropy, wherein tangible things collapse. In other words, in a universe where entropy (a measurement of the lack of order in a system) is supposedly being maximized, life is an entity that resists this trend. Life can be thought of as a “supernature” phenomenon: an occurrence that defies the laws of classical physics.


Physicist and 1977 winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Ilya Prigogine, observed that in the natural world, when energy is absorbed from an external source, internal entropy is generated, then released. Prigogine discovered that there exists a non-equilibrium state that is only realized when this entropy is released. Through the dissipation of energy (or matter) and the removal of entropy, internal entropy is reduced and order is created. It can be said that living organisms take in energy from the outside in the form of food, disposing of entropy in the form of excrement, thereby preserving entropy.


Life can be thought of as an order of energy that is continuous with the external environment.

The existence of life can be thought of as a supernature phenomenon that defies the laws of physics. When an order of energy is created within the artwork space, the sphere transcends universal gravitation, violating physics as life does. The sphere slowly levitates, becomes suspended in the middle of the space, and floats up and down in the air.

When a person views the supernature phenomenon before them, it causes their perception to change, thus leading to a new cognitive experience that differs from that of everyday life. 

This artwork aims to explore changes in cognition.