I reflected a great deal on the theme of the “sign” in art, on the authoriality of the gesture that draws, on chance, on iconoclasm and on the irreproducibility of my Polaroids. The only way out might have been in setting the initial conditions in such a way that the image could be completed on its own. I was fascinated by the idea of a sign that was not determined by the artist’s hand, by her culture, but rather by something else that drew freely by tracing “unintentional” signs. That’s where Fireflies came from.I created this work by exposing film to the light emitted by twenty-five fireflies collected in the countryside. I took them to the darkroom and let them move freely on the sheets of black and white photographic film. Then I freed the fireflies and developed the film.
"Note the curious psychological effect. Most of us would see order in the strings and clumps of the stars, and would interpret the fireflies, with its lack of apparent pattern, as random. In fact, the opposite is true, and our ordinary conceptions are faulty." Stephen Jay Gould, Glow, Big Glowworm, 1991