‘Butterfly Strobe’
Drawing & Installation
Info ︎
On Tuesday around 3:10 I saw a moth on the bathroom window. It was flying directly into the glass, confused by the transparency of the window when trying to get outside,

At that time of day the Sun's position in the sky was not only aligned to the back of the house where the bathroom is, but was set at the same height as the window is. As a result, the sun as a light source was shining in a straight line directly through the window and onto the blank wall of the bathroom. As an object on the window the moth cast a direct shadow onto it.
The form of the shadow the moth cast onto the wall alternated as it's wings extended out and came together with each beat in it's attempt to fly out of the window. Positioned directly face on to the sun, it's form when its wings were drawn together rendered as a very thin line, barely noticeable as a shadow. With it's wings fully extended the shadow was rendered as a large spherical form with soft edges, due to the distance between the window and the wall.
In short, with the moth flying directly towards the sun, it's shadow alternated between these two forms, the 'off' of the wings drawn together and the 'on' of the spherical shadow as it flapped it wings. This spherical shadow seen when the wings were extended was therefore strobing on and off at the rapid rate at which moths must beat their wings in order to fly. It was a rare, incidental and naturally occurring specific type of strobe light, projected onto a blank wall as these factors all aligned momentarily.

Installed proposal

Butterfly strobe recreation installation sketch

Frequency Proposal

I am proposing the creation of a specific strobe light frequency to be registered and exhibited. It is defined from the exact pulse rate derived from a moth's beating wings. It can be used and exhibited in any circumstance, so long as it pulses at this specific frequency. ︎


Orrerys were instruments used to demonstrate theories about the solar system and astrology. In the absence of emperical answers, people looked to the stars a