The silk painted wings of The Butterfly by light artist Jen Lewin
The wings of the Butterfly by light artist Jen Lewin
The Butterfly on display by light artist Jen Lewin
Light artist Jen Lewin interacting with her work Butterfly
Circuits and silk painted wings of Butterfly by light artist Jen Lewin


Client: Jen Lewin Private Collection
Project Date: 1999

Butterfly is a 10′ tall handmade interactive silk creature that moves and lights in response to human closeness. Approaching Butterfly ‘wakes it up’ and causes it to react to you with movement – each wing has 6 different areas that can sense human movement. As you move closer to a wing, it will move away from you at the same speed of your movement. Through curious interactions you can dance and play with a larger than life silk butterfly.

Each butterfly wing is a synthesis of silk, paint, and electronics. The wings are controlled by specially designed and printed circuit boards and analog proximity circuits cut to fit within the painted silk. Woven LEDS run from these boards throughout the painted wings, lighting up in animation as a user is near.

The eye piece is composed of 2 lenses, a small TV screen and hidden video camera that captures and projects the user. From afar, the piece glows with abstract pixels that resemble the curvature of an actual insect eye. Only when up close (very close) do you begin to see actual shapes in the lens….. on closer inspection these shapes become eyes, and even closer, you realize the eyes are your own.


2006  Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art: Boulder
2002  ITP Gallery New York University: New York City
2002-Current Lewin Private Collection

© Copyright Jen Lewin Studio, all rights reserved.    

© Copyright Jen Lewin Studio, all rights reserved.