200.000 people create a mindblowing interactive performance

Interactive art/architecture that amplifies our emotions and expressions.

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Primal Source is an interactive performance/installation which has been created for an art festival in California. They used a large-scale outdoor waterscreen/mist projection system to project a stunning light-show onto the mist. The installation responds to sound emanating from the crowd, thereby letting the crowd create their own performace. That night 200.000 people brought it to life, by walking past the installation.

Different modes where displayed depending on how active the crowd was and some modes even created ‘creatures’ whose shape, color and movement all reacted to the crowd. Here is a video. You might want to turn down your volume a little bit since screaming is the first thing people tried to make it come to life.

Next to the fact that the installation is just so incredibly overwhelming and stunning to watch, it reminded me of something else which al together gave me an interesting perspective on the whole concept of interactive art/architecture.

Just recently I came across a man on television who was passionately explaining why the bow and arrow are such an important part of our history. He even claimed that without it, we would have never gotten to the moon. I can’t remember who he was since I came across it while flicking through the channels and I just watched it for a minute or two, but he made an interesting point. He saw the bow and arrow as the first time man exceeded/amplified their own physical abilities. Before that, spears and where used and we where limited to our own physical strength. Now if you look at it from that perspective, the bow and arrow are suddenly a much more interesting phenomenon (at least that’s what I found it to be).

What I see happening more and more nowadays within interactive art/architecture is that it amplifies things we haven’t been able to amplify before. A lot of them are starting to amplify the presence of people and sometimes they even react upon it. But what we’re also seeing now is that they’re trying to amplify emotions and expressions. To me, this is something very interesting. Especially because that’s an area which is still relatively undefined. What would happen if we would take this out of the museums and bring it into our daily lives? What will happen when we amplify our emotions and thereby making them visible to others? That’s a question which is occupying my head at the moment. I’m curious what you think about that.

Primal Source is an installation from Haque design + research.

Dennis Koks

Dennis Koks (1987, The Netherlands) is a designer | conceptual thinker for interactive media and co-founder of Transparent Spaces. Dennis is fascinated about the social impact of interactive design and how it can improve our daily lives.

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