Ann Marie Schneider

/ artwork

Non-native


2016. 
Grant funded Seattle public park installation of 1,200 digital LED’s designed to mimic the ephemeral communication patterns of fireflies native to the midwest.  

Park visitors discovering the installation.  

Ou hito ni akari wo misuru hotaru kana
The firefly / Gives light / To its pursuer

- Otomo Oemaru (Blythe, 1952)

In July and August of 2016 I invaded the native vegetation at Camp Long Park in Seattle with 1,200 custom digital LED fireflies designed to mimic the male-female communication patterns of Photinus pyralis, a common species of firefly found in much of the Eastern United States and Asia but not found in the Pacific Northwest. A durational and environmental event, fireflies trigger slowly at dusk, become increasingly active and fade out again as full night settles in.The fabricated experience was inspired by childhood memory, introduced species, human displacement, and digital communications, with the intent to highlight the present day challenges of social and ecological authenticity. The installation, enjoyed by visitors from a wide gamut of ages and socio-cultural backgrounds, brought people, place and technology together in a temporal space of eerie delight.

This project was made possible through grant funding from the 4Culture Tech Specific program and with the technical assistance of Benjamin VanDerPloeg.


Clockwise from upper left:

1. Testing and design.

2. Snippet from event poster.

3.  Proposal image of installation along Elliott Bay.

4. Frontispiece from “Studies on the Flash Communication System in Photinus Fireflies”,  by James E. Lloyd, 1966, a publication of research  used as the technical basis for design.




Marker