Man, I love the world. It’s always been really beautiful, but sometimes we humans actually realize that it is and respond accordingly. And, to me at least, that’s the sign of good abstract art. Bridge, a Polish augmented reality and mass customization research and design firm, and Platige Image, a Polish graphics, special effects and animation company, got together to build an interactive art piece that demonstrates just that. Through the use of a Kinect, computer programming, a handful of RepRaps and elbow grease, these artists put together an interactive light show that makes you feel good.
INTERACTIVE INSTALLATION BY BRIDGE AND PLATIGE IMAGE. from bridge on Vimeo.
You can see in the video above how they assemble a large wooden structure in the Platige Image lobby and cover it with 3D printed cells. The video description gives a good account of the rationale and process behind the 3D printed parts:
“We decided to use 3D printing to build the installation because it provides high precision. Direct correspondence between physical realization and digital model was crucial for interactive mapping to work on such complex structure” says Michał Piasecki (Bridge, creative director).
The installation is composed of 3160 cells subdivided into over 800 panels to fit into printers working space.
5 machines were used 24 hours, 7 days a week for 3 months to print it.
“We have also developed a custom algorithm with Rhino Grasshopper which allowed us to design complex geometry fulfilling multiple criteria at once. The criteria range from aesthetics through video mapping and 3D printing requirements” says Michał.
A network of lights are connected through the cells, which are programmed to change colour in sequence, but also in response to passers by. With the use of projectors and a Microsoft Kinect, people can interact with the sculpture as their silhouettes meld with the installation. And the interactivity really works! It draws in people and unleashes their inner desires to dance! The makers of the project frame their artwork in this way:
Bridge and Platige Image created a physical space manifesto for new offices of Platige Image. Platige Image’s work in animation and post-production blurs boundaries between creativity and technology. The installation is a spatial canvas ready to display creative content from artists working at Platige and to engage visitors too. It was designed to be a living organism in the lobby space and take an active part in company’s everyday life.
I don’t know what it is about light, especially warm hues of pink and orange pulsing into cool purples and blue, that makes me feel tingly inside. Maybe it’s because so much of our world is light, shining from that ball of gas that gives us life, pouring down and reflecting off of every surface to give it depth and character. And when we pay homage to it, showing its flexibility and its limits, we’re reminded of this truly essential part of our being. Or, I guess it’s paying tribute to any sensation, whether it be light or sound, touch, smell or taste (or language, which I consider to be a sense in that it frames our senses and perception), that I find to be so pleasant. A reminder that things exist to be seen, heard, tasted, touched and smelled and that without those things, there would be nothing to experience.