In April, 1971, flies were released from a large glass bottle (select "Release" from the Yoke page to see photo) placed in the stone garden of the MOMA of New York (select "Release" again) as an event at the Museum. The same perfume as the one I had been wearing was sprinkled on each fly so that, 1) it would have the same odor as me and, 2) it would be distinguishable from other flies.

Many scented flies were discovered in New York City at the time. However, to my dismay and/or delight, some of them have migrated all the way to Los Angeles. In fact, just recently, a great number of them were spotted in, above all places, MOCA! Well, they journeyed from a Museum to a Museum. That makes sense to me.

The migration, however, seems to have been on a larger scale than I had expected. In fact, the number of perfumed flies discovered in MOCA is far greater than what had come out of the bottle originally in MOMA. That also makes sense to me, as rapid multiplication must have occurred in the course of the 25 year journey. Those flies!

The scented flies in MOCA were promptly bottled by the committee, as they had been in MOMA. Committees like to bottle things. You should know that. What do you do with bottled, perfumed flies? Give them to a biological institution for an experiment? Give them to a historical institution for the record? "No!" I said. "No, that is not how you should treat flies! What if one of them was your brother in a past life?" Finally, the committee has arrived at a decision, that they would allow me to open the bottle and let the flies fly away into the Los Angeles sky. I think that was a very nice decision, don't you?

If you find a perfumed fly in your neighborhood, take a photo and send it to us (select "Flies" from the Yoke page, then "Submit a Fly"). You should also give us your credentials as a fly spotter and a brief note on anything else worth mentioning in your life. Have fun!

Yoko Ono, September 1996
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