[ISEA2002] Artist Statement: Kaoru Motomiya – California lemon sings a song

Artist Statement

This work is a kind of interactive sound installation however it may look just a group of lemons on the ground. Acid of fruits works to generate electricity. Lemons are connected to digital sound tips. Visitors can smell fresh citrus and hear sounds when they open the pods or cups since the electric circuits are opened by sensors. Exhibitions of electronic arts usually need a lot of plug-in sockets. But this piece does not need them because the work itself can generate electricity. When I face to electronic arts, I consider about power generation, not only to consume electricity.

motive
I think foods in ecosystem are joints of circulatory system. Thus recently I have been pay attention to food culture and use local foods for my art works. When I worked in California, I though let lemons whisper a song using their acid as battery. 1 found Japanese characters “export Japan special” on the box of lemons which I bought there. When we ingest foods from remote area, our body may assimilate, switch, mediate with unknown culture, in different phases from those of politics or economy.

background
Local farm products tell me a lot about the places, such as clime and history. Outside-people often misunderstand local information but it sometimes can lead a deeper understanding. It looks the same in cultural exchange, the first step always starts with a trifle. Japan imports a great quantity of Californian citrus. TV commercials of such famous company Sunkist amplify the fictional Californian image among Japanese people. But a Californian said me “the best lemons is Floridian.”

process
Studio I made this piece was a former missile base area (HEADLAND ART CENTER). I made an outline of a missile in the actual size with lemons, in the same number of people and dogs who used to work at there, wishing to be a peacemaker after cold war. I directed it’s head point to Japan since they were exporting to Japan. [taking of?, and landing] In 2000, this work was shown at a gallery in San Francisco (SOUTHERN EXPORSURE). In 2002, the missile-shaped lemons landed to a gallery in Tokyo, using California lemons imported. In Fall it will be launched to Nagoya port. Citrus fruits of California, sometimes metamorphose into processed foods such as juice or candies, are circulating in markets over the world, coming and going through digestive system in our bodies even this day.

  • Kaoru Motomiya is a¬†Tokyo-based visual artist. Motomiya has presented her works at more than twenty of shows and symposiums, participating several Artist-In-Residences (Japan, US, Canada, Australia 1996-2002). Motomiya belongs to japan Society of Medical History and curated a scientific exhibition (Natural Science Museum, Tokyo University 1997), also collaborated with scientists in edutainment projects: “Digital Museum” (National Science Museum, Tokyo 1996), “Visible Inside” (Shiroishi Municipal Center, Miyagi 1998). Her robotic works are related to the issue of body and senses: “Hairball machine”, “baby walk”(1996-1999). Motomiya’s latest installation “canon” centers on social perception of ideal body, took part in “Art and Medicine” (ICC, Tokyo 2002).

Sponsored by ASAHI BREWERIES, LTD. Supported by SUNKIST.