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Dreaming of a Butterfly

A work by António Caramelo.

This title refers to a poem by the Chinese Taoist philosopher Zhuangzi (I b.C) about a man, who dreams with a butterfly’s flight. When he wakes up he is not sure if he is the man dreaming about the butterfly or the butterfly dreaming it was the man. The underlying theme is the need for a certain difference the need to transform and to transfer from one state to another. “Dreaming of a Butterfly” occupies the different potential that might exist in the small spaces between the reality and appearances. Although butterflies are very close to reality, in their shape, colour and movement they don’t manage to become real. 

During the summer of 2009 I made a short visit to Cultivamos Cultura, at the time I was an artist in residence at University of Birmingham in the School of Bioscience where I was collaborating with Dr Janet Smith on Biocrafts and Edge Practices, a project This work evolves around the impossibility of exact replicas, and it’s based on the assumption that there is always a lost in the materials transfer process, in the copies made from a specific reality. What happens it’s the creation of a new reality. As a consequence one [another] new impossibility arises in any interpretation attempt that might eventually happen, as the new interpretation will have solely the interpretation idea as fate. Each flask has a “mechanical” butterfly placed within and their movements are synchronized with the sound system – where microphones obtain real time sound of the surrounding area, and amplify the sounds to the internal subwoofers speakers to produce the necessary input to cause the aleatory movements of the butterflies.