Amodal Suspension

Relational Architecture 8

“Amodal Suspension” (Relational Architecture 8) is a large-scale interactive installation where people can send short text messages to each other using a cell phone or web browser. However, rather than being sent directly, the messages are encoded as unique sequences of flashes with 20 robotically-controlled searchlights, not unlike the patterns that make up Morse code. Messages "bounce" around from searchlight to searchlight, turning the sky into a giant switchboard. A message may be "caught" with a cell phone or a 3D Internet interface, at which time it is removed from the sky, shown on the cell phone or online interface and projected on the façade of the museum.

This work was inspired by the Tanabata tradition in Japan whereby short messages are ritually hung on bamboo. One objective of the piece was to make a public spectacle by using the private medium of text messaging, slowing down communication and introducing the possibility of interception.

The initial installation was launched at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, Yamaguchi, Japan, and was active from November 1 to 24, 2003.

Visit the project's website at:

General info

Spanish name:
Suspensión Amodal
Year of creation:

Public Art

twenty 7kW robotic searchlights, eight webcams, projectors, Linux servers, GPS and 3D DMX Java interface
visibility within a 15 km radius
1 AP


Additionnal info:
A large-scale C-print visualizing a mock up of the 20 activated searchlights across the city of Yamaguchi, Japan.
6 Editions, 1 AP
private collectors


  • Project Curator: Yukiko Shikata
  • Curator: Kazunao Abe
  • Programming: Conroy Badger, Motoi Ishibashi, Jennifer Laughlin, Emilio López-Galiacho, Shiro Yamamoto, Chong Zhang
  • Project Manager: Miki Fukuda
  • Technical Manager: Shiro Yamamoto
  • Production Assistance: Will Bauer, Jack Calmes, Olaf Pöttcher, Hiroshi Kanechiku, Yumico Cotaki, Chiaki Sakaguchi, Daiya Aida, Rie Yamasaki, Katsuhisa Nomura
  • Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM) Director: Shosuke Fukuda