The sculpture, a giant white mass, floats between the floor and the ceiling within the confines of the space, as though transcending the concept of mass. The boundary between this floating sculpture, the space, and the body is ambiguous. Visitors can immerse their bodies in Massless Clouds Between Sculpture and Life. Even when people push through the sculpture breaking it, the object naturally repairs itself like a living thing. But, as with living things, when the sculpture is destroyed beyond what it can repair, it cannot mend itself, and it collapses.
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. 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 “supernatural” 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 energy that is continuous with the external environment. When an order of energy is created in the installation, a large, white sculpture mass is slowly born, floats upward, and repairs itself like a living organism. Then, as though it is a supernatural phenomenon that defies the laws of physics, it transcends universal gravitation and drifts into the middle of the space, neither rising towards the ceiling nor sinking to the ground.
teamLab is an interdisciplinary art collective founded in 2001 in Tokyo, whose team includes several hundred specialists. At the heart of their practice lies the belief that everything exists in a long, fragile yet miraculous, borderless continuity. In order to understand the world around them, people separate it into independent entities with perceived boundaries between them. teamLab seeks to transcend these boundaries in our perception of the world, of the relationship between the self and the world, and of the continuity of time.
Their immersive installations fuse art and science to encourage meaningful interactions with both the work and other people. As we move around the space, our very presence—along with those of other participants—provoke flowers to bloom and waterfalls to change the course of their flow. We are reminded that there is strength in the collective and are invited to reconnect with the world and marvel at its beauty.