The Spider Project

Catalog Text from
Der Stein der Weisen

 The Spider Project

The Spider Project installation is a mandala-vivarium for the contemplation of past and future. A requiem for the 20th century, it hovers in the moment of our culture's rebirth at the end of the last millennium. Combining art and research, it is a step towards working with the laws of nature. The Spider Project is an act of sympathetic magic.

Bubble-chamber recordings, used in particle physics, are projected onto a three-dimensional, layered "screen" of misted, living spider webs. These are joined by images from the micro and macroscopes of scientific research, concentrating on spiral and circular natural forms. The connection is intuitive: spirals on spirals, technology and nature, mist as the link.

Taking the form of the four directions and the Center, each direction is represented by a video monitor. These are assigned an element, a color, a theme, and a sound. The Center, the "point of intelligence", is where the spiders are. Here, a gauze-enclosed pavilion contains a frame bearing webs and water mist, forming a three-dimensional projection volume. Approximately 50 spiders, Nephila senegalensis, live on this structure to create the projection screen with their webs. The viewer enters the spiders' room, separated from them only by a low fence. The spiders are free. An unobstructed view is necessary in order to perceive the video projection on the delicate threads.

© C.Waite, 2000

installation concept sketch 5.98