A slide projector throws an image of a lit bulb through a real (unpowered) bulb and a sheet of plexiglass and off a mirror, creating floating virtual bulbs in the process. When a viewer enters or cannot stand still, a sensor is tripped and the real bulb is powered, its brilliance eliminating the beautiful images of the virtual bulbs.
"En Abyme is a manifestation of explorations concerning the role of the virtual. We tend to think of the virtual as being the domain of high technology; for the most part, the virtual seems stuck in the digital realm. We forget, therefore, that the virtual has a long history which extends past the computer, the photograph, the telescope. Beyond even the shadow plays enacted on cave walls, the virtual is the very core of all memory, imagination, dream and divinity. En Abyme is an allegory which serves to facilitate a physical exploration of philosophical proposals."
Fazail Lutfi and Lee Henderson, artists' statement