interactive

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History

Dig into an Incredible Compendium of Objects Excavated from the Bottom of Amsterdam’s Amstel River

July 9, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

During a nine year period in the early 2000’s a new metro line was excavated along the banks of Amsterdam’s Amstel river. The urban waterway had to be completely pumped, which gave archeologists a rare opportunity to examine the full spectrum of everyday and extraordinary objects which had fallen to the bottom of the prominent river. Below the Surface, a website created by the Department of Archaeology; Monuments and Archaeology (MenA), the City of Amsterdam; and their Chief Technology Officer, serves as an interactive compendium with access to images and information of 19,000 of the nearly 700,000 findings from the excavation site.

On the website you can explore the findings by date or dig into Below the Surface’s selection of object stories which provide context to specific pieces pulled from the river. An historical background is provided for select buttons, tokens, pottery segments, stamps, books, and other findings such as a 19th-century pipe cover decorated by a portrait of the Dutch navel lieutenant Jan Carel Josephus van Speijk or a 16th-century belt which bears the inscription: “Ik bin en ieger nu ik hebbe dat mi behaget” (or “I am a hunter and I now have what delights me”).

Meticulously divided display cases of the found objects are installed in the new metro line’s Rokin Station and can be visited by the public. A short documentary of the project can be found on Below the Surface’s website, with English subtitles coming soon. (via Kottke)

 

 



Animation Design Illustration

Take a Virtual Vacation on Vera van Wolferen’s Animated ‘Thought Hopper 3000’

July 5, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

The Thought Hopper 3000 is a new project from the mind of Dutch paper craftsman and stop-motion animator Vera van Wolferen (previously). The interactive website presents the viewer with a five-minute vacation programmed inside of a quaint mobile camper made entirely from paper. Players are encouraged to click around for “hot spots” hidden throughout the site which spring to life when selected.

The game is currently in its first demo version and is condensed to around five minutes of play. Van Wolferen hopes to expand the Thought Hopper 3000 universe to include several other animated components and add more rooms for the user to explore. The short game’s scenes are animated by Raymon Wittenberg, the sounds were produced by Flavia Faas, and interaction design, graphics, and programming were done by Floris Douma.

You can learn about new additions to the project by visiting its website, and follow van Wolferen’s paper and balsa wood-based sculptures on Facebook and Instagram. If you like this interactive game you might also enjoy playing Short Trip, another animated paper world designed by Alexander Perrin.

 

 



Art

A Gigantic Helium-Filled and Charcoal-Studded Sphere Covers Rooms with Unpredictable Designs

May 30, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Polish-German artist Karina Smigla-Bobinski gives buoyancy to the act of drawing with ADA, a large inflatable drawing tool. Filled with helium, ADA floats freely, making lines with its charcoal spikes as it moves through a room. More dramatic mark-making starts to occur when humans are added to the mix: the video above shows visitors engaging with ADA at Muffathalle where it was installed for a week in Munich, Germany.

The artist describes ADA in a statement: “The globe put in action fabricates a composition of lines and points, which remain incalculable in their intensity, expression, and form however hard the visitor tries to control ADA, to drive her, to domesticate her. Whatever he tries out, he would notice very soon, that ADA is an independent performer, studding the originally white walls with drawings and signs.”

Smigla-Bobinski categorizes ADA as biotechnology and pays homage to past creatives that have designed computer-like works, which give unpredictable outputs once given a command. She mentions Ada Lovelace, Jean Tinguely, and Vannevar Bush as influences.

The artist studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and Munich. Her work, which ranges from kinetic sculptures to multimedia theater performances, has been shown in forty five countries. ADA made its debut at the Electronic Language Int. Festival in São Paulo, in 2011, and has since traveled the world. You can see more from Smigla-Bobinski on her website and YouTube channel.

 

 



Art

Museum Visitors Invited to Crawl and Slide Inside Massive Suspended Tape Structure

January 23, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs by Dan Hodges and Rich Sanders

The Des Moines Art Center’s recent exhibit, Drawing in Space, highlighted four artists working in the medium of tape. The show included Numen/For Use (previously), an artist collective based in Vienna and Zagreb. Their interactive sculpture, called simply “Tape,” is made exclusively of clear packing tape, suspended within the art center’s I.M. Pei-designed architecture. Museum visitors are encouraged to explore the piece from the inside out—as long as they wear socks and move through the structure in a clockwise direction. Numen’s exhibit at the Art Center closed on January 21st, and we’re looking forward to seeing where it appears next. Previous iterations have been built in Paris, Frankfurt, and Vienna. See more of Numen/For Use’s work on their website and Facebook.

 

 



Art

Step Inside a Swirling Mirror Room of Interactive Ocean Vortices by teamLab

December 28, 2017

Christopher Jobson

For their latest dizzying interactive installation, Japanese collective teamLab (previously) brought the ocean indoors, creating a projected environment that reacts to the movements of visitors, all encased within the infinite space of a mirror room. Titled “Moving Creates Vortices and Vortices Create Movement” the work is inspired in part by the life cycle of the ocean, particularly the movement of plankton as represented by the reactive particle effects that spin like whirlpools as you pass through the exhibition space. The speed and direction of people’s movements are all factored into the projections and in the absence of motion the room gradually reverts to darkness.

The Vortices installation just opened at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia where it will remain on view through April 15, 2018. You can learn more on teamLab’s website. (via Designboom)

All images © teamLab.

 

 



Art Dance

Hundreds of Swinging Pendulums Subtly Choreograph Visitors’ Movements at the Paris Autumn Festival

December 27, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Hundreds of pendulums swing through Paris’ Grande halle de la Villette for choreographer and artist William Forsythe‘s installation Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time No. 2. The hanging plumbobs sway together in a series of timed sequences, which force visitors into choreographed movements as they avoid the ceiling-mounted works.

“The spectators are free to attempt a navigation of this statistically unpredictable environment, but are requested to avoid coming in contact with any of the swinging pendulums,” says an artist statement regarding Forsythe’s choreographic object. “This task, which automatically intimates and alerts the spectators innate predictive faculties, produces a lively choreography of manifold and intricate avoidance strategies.”

The work has previously been installed at the Circus Street Market as part of the Brighton Festival, the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, the Arsenale of the Venice Biennale, and will be displayed at la Grande halle de La Villette for le Festival d’Automne à Paris through December 31, 2017. You can see footage from an iteration of the installation at the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany in the video above. (via The Kid Should See This)

@audre.l

Image via @audre.l

Image via @tam_qubiqstudio

Image via @tam_qubiqstudio

Image via @_cedric_v

Image via @_cedric_v

Image via @ziyue_j

Image via @ziyue_j

Image via @studiomm_paris

Image via @studiomm_paris

 

 



Art Design Science

Artist Philip Beesley Merges Chemistry, Artificial Intelligence, and Interactivity to Create “Living” Architecture

December 8, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Astrocyte, 2017. All images by Philip Beesley and Alex Willms / PBAI.

Multidisciplinary artist and architect Philip Beesley weaves together such a broad array of technologies and systems in his artworks that they legitimately defy description, but the immediate impact of encountering these sprawling interactive installations is visceral and awe-inspiring. His latest work, Astrocyte, connects chemistry, artificial intelligence, and an immersive soundscape to create a living piece of architecture that responds to the presence of viewers. Comprised of 300,000 individual components, the piece was on view against the industrial backdrop at Toronto’s port lands for EDIT: Expo for Design, Innovation & Technology last October. From a statement about the project:

The structure is made up of resilient, lightweight meshworks of thermally formed acrylic, laser-cut into geometrical patterns optimized for production with minimal waste. This unique space truss system is part of the Living Architecture Systems’ pioneering research into resilient and adaptable structures. Astrocyte’s structural mesh components use overlapping strands of material in doubly-curved conical forms that achieve extraordinary strength from minimal material. These innovative forms are clustered together in bundles that are similar to the multiple filaments spanning between outer and inner shells of natural bone structures.

The piece further incorporates 3D-printed lighting components and masses of custom glasswork that contain a combination of oil, inorganic chemicals, and other solutions to form a sort of chemical skin. At the core of Beesley research is the question of whether architecture can truly be “alive,” opening the possibility for self-repairing structures or deeply responsive organic environments, where artificial intelligence exists at almost every level of design. Regardless of the complexity and heady ideas, the works are deeply aesthetically intriguing, something directly out of science fiction.

Beesley is the director of the Living Architecture Systems Group and a professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo. You can explore much more of his work on his website and along with several videos and interviews on Vimeo. (via Colossal Submissions)