Immersive audiovisual environments

Immersive audiovisual environments

Places built on a tridimensional matrix where the data is materialized in space

Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the non-space of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.” William Gibson “Neuromancer”, 1981

“The viewer enters into a totally immersive and unfamiliar dark space. His feelings are tuned…. he is trying to understand what is waiting for him, but the picture of the world is changing with light and sound. He has experienced this before… in the night forest ”

By Sila Sveta and Tundra, 2015.

Porta Estel-Lar
“An immersive light and sound installation inside a plane.”


“Through the creation of visual and sound sequences that suggest the idea of interstellar travel, we make the audience fly to outer space in an intense six-minute trip, from departure and takeoff to the sighting of comets, planets, galaxies, crossing nebulae and visiting alien worlds, until finally returning safe to earth”

By PlayMID (Playmodes + MID), 2015. More info at the creators project’s article.

“Perspection examines the sound-image relationships from synchronicity to independence of visual and sonic cues of perception through a series of generative audiovisual compositions. Through the use of multistable imagery and sonics the barrier between the physical and screen spaces are modulated between distinct and blurred, heightening the act of perception.”

By Matthew Bierderman and Pierce Warnecke, 2015 .  More info at the project page.

In the eyes of the animals
“This new commission enables audiences to encounter England’s forests anew through an immersive virtual reality experience, told by the inhabitants of the forest. A 360º film, it is an artistic interpretation of the sensory perspectives of three species natural to the site.The forest & animals were captured using techniques such as lidar & CT scanning, photogrammetry and a bespoke-built 360º aerial camera. Footage was processed using custom software to create the landscapes explored in the work. The film is set to a binaural soundtrack using audio recordings sourced from the surrounding woodland.”

By Marshmallow Laser Feast, 2015. Detailed info at creative application’s article.

“Part immersive game, part preventative medicine check-up, the Fitzania installation at the Museum of Future Government Services explores ways of making healthcare more personalized, accessible, enjoyable and a part of everyday life.The orb vibrates acknowledging successful log-in as you lift it from the pedestal. Stepping into the game space you complete a series of spatial alignments, increasing in speed and difficulty. As you position the orb in 3D, Fitzania’s advanced sensors analyze your bio-metric signals. All tests complete, you return the orb to receive a prescription tailored to your needs.”

By Specular Projects, 2015. More info here.

[divider]Interactive dance performances in responsive audiovisual spaces [/divider]

“WITH OUI” is an audiovisual dance performance. The narrative of the piece develops around human communication and mutually supportive relationships. A bright object in the middle of the stage acts as source of knowledge and connecting link between the dancers. This object contains inside a motion sensor (a Wiimote controller) and is used in specific moments by the dancers as a performative object to manipulate audio.

Choreography: Billie Secular, Ladonna Matchett; Sound: Eli Fieldsteel;
Live Visuals: Rodrigo Carvalho, 2015. More info here.

Don’t Remember Being Raised Like This
“Don’t Remember Being Raised Like This is a subjective inventory of recollections, both real and fictitious, collected by each company member in 7-year intervals, up to the imagined age of 77. The show was inspired by a workshop with Petra Ardai, founder of the Space Theatre.”

Creator-performers: Réka Szabó, Emese Cuhorka, István Gőz, Dániel Szász | Light and space: Attila Szirtes |Costume: Edit Szűcs | Visual design, interactive technology: Gábor Karcis, Zsolt Korai, Gábor Papp. 2014. More info here.

Movement del Aire
“The performance matches seemingly impossible visions: images look alive while bodies fly, defying gravity. The acrobatic and digital choreography outlines a body language that involves a new relationship to time, space and the whole world. Beyond looking for technical achievement, what matters is the attempt at creating a motion dreamscape by way of images.”

By Adrien M & Claire B, 2015. More info here.


Divide By Zero
Divide By Zero’ is set in an environment where connections between personal unconscious content and digital interfaces are made possible.

Choreography: Nina Kov, Dancer: Catarina Carvalho, Art Direction and Interactive Design: Hellicar & Lewis, Music: Paul Child, 2014. More info here.

“FUTURE SELF studies human movement, mirroring interaction in dance, light and sound, while exploring the self, present and future.”

By rAndom International (media artist collective), Wayne McGregor (choreographer),
and Max Richte (composer). 2013. Produced by MADE. Video Documentation here.

[divider]Audiovisual spaces shaped by lights and sound [/divider]

The pioneer audiovisual spaces Polytopes, by Iánnis Xenákis during the 1960s and 1970s, can be considered the “starting point for many contemporary researches in multimedia performances and immersive environments
(Farbizi, 2014  “Yannis Xenakis’ Polytopes: Cosmogonies in Sound and Architecture” ).

“Immersive audio reactive installation exploring electroluminescent technology (EL).
360 meters of EL wires segmented in 30 independent sections. These sections are controlled by an audio reactive setup built in Arduino and Pure Data that splits the audio signal to represent it visually and dynamically in real time.”

By Devicers, 2014. More info here.

“Hyperjump explores the idea, set by this paradoxical combination: the basketball court, representing the physicality, we have from the nature, together with the architecture of the classicism period, the symbol of the human rationality.
25 moving head light beams on a truss stands and a powerful sound system were installed along the hall. While the light sculpture started to move, the electronic light devices came to life, turning into the actors themselves, bringing the light, shut in the strict geometry back, to its unpredictable nature.”

By TUNDRA, 2015. More info, pictures and full credits here.

“Parallels explores light as a material, but this time the space as a whole becomes their screen.( Reference to Daydream installation series) The boundaries and notion of space, become abstract as the audience crosses the room, but in doing so, the audience also affects the space by breaking the light. This installation is strongly connected to the space in which it takes place; it lives within it. But as soon as the light hits the walls that define the space it reaches its limits and stops reproducing itself.
The installation is also inspired by Anthony Mccall’s exploration of light and space.”

By Nonotak, 2015. More info here.

A Chandelier For One of Many Possible Ends
“92 individual light elements each controlled by a Geiger counter. Lights flash in response to the Geiger counters detecting high energy particles of radioactivity from sources both terrestrial and cosmic. Normal levels of environmental radioactivity cause the instillation to flicker randomly. A source of contamination great enough to cause the entire chandelier to remain solidly lit would be fatal to any living thing in the room.”

By Phillip David Stearns, 2014. More info here.

Behaviors in Light and Sound After Iannis Xenakis is a spectacular light and sound performance-installation combining cutting edge lighting, lasers, sound, sensing and machine learning software inspired by composer Iannis Xenakis’s radical 1960s- 1970s works named Polytopes (from the Greek ‘poly’, many and ‘topos’, space).”


“N_Polytope is based on the attempt to both re-imagine Xenakis’ work with probabilistic/stochastic systems with new techniques as well as to explore how these techniques can exemplify our own historical moment of extreme instability”.

Concept and Direction: Chris Salter, 2012. More info here. Besides the version above (Gijon), N-Polytopes has been presented in different versions and forms in Basel, Berlin and Montreal.

[divider]Physical worlds are overlapped by virtual ones[/divider]

#MixedReality, #SpacedAugementedReality, #VR-Continuum.

Site Specific Installation.

By Gnomalab, 2014. More info here.

Time tilings [STUK]
This site-specific project brings to light several tilings of varied scales, exploring the intersection of architectural systems and time-based structures.

By Pablo Valbuena, 2013. More info here.

“A strange mechanism stretches across the wall, populated with shadowy chimeras.
Minutely constructed like a fine clock, it traces connections, routes, genuinely-false, looping itineraries, inviting escape, inviting dreams. The narrative is deconstructed like a thousand-storied film script. Every effort is made to lead astray, to turn around, to forge ahead. Time is shredded, decomposed, lost and yet everything references it.”

By Fred Penelle + Yannick Jacquet, 2013. More info here.

Light Form
“Light Form is a sculpture that explores different forms of representations and interactions using a solid but uneven display. Each form of interaction consists of an animation that is played on the surface when you touch it. Different sounds are emitted in synchronization with the touch and the animation. The faceted landscape is built on a plinth with integrated projector and infrared sensing to display content that is constrained to the form of the display but offers quite unique interactive experience.”

By Mathieu Rivier, 2013. More info here.

Projection Mapping Sculpture Pictoplasma Character Portraits.

By Motomichi Studio, 2015.

Projection on water and rocks.

By Thomas Roda, 2015. More info here.

[divider]Virtual, augmented and mixed realities spaces. Places dominated by space-time disorders[/divider]

“Dome A/V Performance.A homeomorphism, also called a continuous transformation, is an equivalence relation and one-to-one correspondence between points in two geometric figures or topological spaces that is continuous in both directions.”

By Ouchhh, 2014. More info here.

Daydream V.4
“Audiovisual installation that generates space distortions. Relationship between space and time, accelerations, contractions, shifts and metamorphosis have been the lexical field of the project. This installation aimed at establishing a physical connection between the virtual space and the real space, blurring the limits and submerging the audience into a short detachment from reality.“

By Nonotak, 2014. More info at the project’s page.

“Immersive, large scale audiovisual installation mixing projection mapping, physical laser-cut structures used as a projection canvas, and various types of LEDs to create a unique multi-sensorial experience.”

“The name of the piece itself, MGNTRN [MAGNOTRON], comes from a space-themed pinball created by the American manufacturer Gottlieb in 1974, and illustrated by Gordon Morison, who made some of the most iconic pinball backglass drawings in the 1970’s. Starfields, black holes, kawai characters and retrofuturistic spaceships as well as vintage arcade games are the haunting spirits of this outdoor audiovisual installation where the sky is the limit.”

By Romain Tardy (concept, visuals) & Squeaky Lobster (Music), 2014. More info at the project’s page.

“…the artists investigate “the spatial qualities of light”. Sticks of LEDs ride up the interior of one of the spheres, augmenting the structure and responding to sounds and tone—this is complemented by a “polygon planet” suspended from the ceiling, built by Lemercier as a cardboard origami structure which has visuals projected onto it” (via Kelvin Holmes, “TheCreatorsProject)

By Visual System and Joanie Lemercier, 2014. More info at the project’s page. Check also Lemercier’s sckeches and inspirations for the development of the structure.

“Immersive Light Installation Performance.The first celestial body containing a black hole was first observed in 1971. It was discovered that the brightest star in the Swan Constellation, the CYGNUS X-1binary star emitted x-rays.”

By Ouchhh, 2014. More info here.

[divider]Interactive dance performances in responsive audiovisual spaces [/divider]

Performers immersed in hyper-sensorial alternative mixed realities, interact with sound and visuals.

[Radical] signs of life
“Through responsive dance, “[radical] signs of life” externalizes the mind’s non-hierarchical distribution of thought. Music is generated from the dancers‘ muscles and blood flow via biophysical sensors that capture sound waves from the performers’ bodies. This data triggers complex neural patterns to be projected onto multiple screens as 3D imagery. As the audience interacts with the images produced, they enter into a dialogue with the dancers. Conceptually, the piece is an embodied examination of self-organizing systems and the increasing disparity between the encroachment of bio-data and the quiet discord of bio-memory. The work reveals the dangerous legacy of cybernetics, and awakens an urgent need for inserting the body and affect into technology before technology further embeds itself inside of us”

By Heidi Boisvert (concept), Pauline Jennings (Choreographer), Doug Van Nort (Sound Designer), Allen Hahn (Set & Lighting Designer), Raven Kwok (Visual Designer), Amy Nielson (Costume Designer) and Marco Donnarumma (Sensor Designer & Developer), 2013. More info here. Video of the full performance here.


Audiovisual Interactive Performance. Eleven dancers on stage immersed in a virtual space made of particles, dots, lines and gravity forces.

By Adrien M / Claire B, 2014. More info and full credits here.

Dissolving Self 2
“Dissolving Self employs metaphoric data visualization and wearable technology to harness the subtle movements of a contemporary dancer. Much of the inspiration of this piece comes from Rumi’s mystic poetry and the physical meditative ritual of Sufi whirling..
The dancer wears a modified SoMo device – provided by Toronto-based design studio Sonic Wear – which captures her rotational movement, sending the data wirelessly to a computer. Custom software then interprets the data and creates a responsive visualization that is projected over the dancer. The bottom of the dancer’s dress is lined with electroluminescent (EL) wire, which can be turned off and on wirelessly.”

By Maziar Ghaderi (Creative Director, Original Concept), Ryan Maksymic (Technical Director), Tamara Montenegro (Sound Designer),Loretta Faveri (Wearable Technologist), Vrinda Bhandula (Choreographer, Performer), 2014. More info here and here, code at Ryan’s Github.

”@ is a scientific experimentation.@ is a body trapped in a machine.@ is a metaphor about our relationship with the uber-technology surrounding us and tracking us everywhere. @ is about disappearance.

By Frederic Deslias (Direction), Nohista (Audio/Video), Sandra Devaux (Performer), Gael L. (Programmer), Xavier Lazarini (Lights), Fred Borotzu & Prelud (set design), 2014. More info here.

Audiovisual Interactive Performance. Dance and Generative Visuals.


By Rudolfo Quintas, Tiago Dionísio, + João Costa (choreography), 2005. More info here.

TIMÉE – The music of the spheres
Audiovisual installation

By Concept & production: Guillaume MARMIN, Music: Philippe GORDIANI, Construction: Charly FRENEA.

Immersive Audiovisual piece at Société des Arts Technologiques, Montréal.

By Baillat Cardell & fils, Alain Thibault (Music & sound design), Jean-Sébastien Baillat, Guillaume Cardell, Vincent Raineri (Visuals).

“Kinematope is a site-specific installation developed for Nuit Blanche at the Gare d’Austerlitz in Paris. It takes place at a future train platform of the station, half kilometre long.
Kinematope uses ephemeral and intangible materials, projected light and sound, to set the space in motion. It makes use of elements from the cinema apparatus to generate a spatial film. It is a direct filmic experience that omits the mediation of the camera, transporting the observer into a virtual space-time and maintaining at the same time the real, physical bonds of the body with its environment.”

By Pablo Valbuena, 2014. More info here.

My whale
“A site-specific interactive installation for “Brusov”, a renovated ship, laid up on Moscow river and turned into an art-cluster.
Each piece of the projection onto the cells was cloned from the previous one with a random changes. So each cell behaved differently, pulsating to the rhythm of the whale songs. To interact with the whale the visitor could place the phone screen above the black box in the center of the room. Once the phone was above the box, the image from the screen bursted into visual patterns and audio fragments all over the cells, merging the precious moments of your life, stored at the phone, and the whale’s imagination with the speed of light.”

By Tundra, 2014.

Out of Control
“Sound and light installation, Atomium – Brussels.
The “Out of Control” installation explores the question of Singularity: the inevitable rise of the Super Machine – longed-for or feared – which, according to some theorists, should occur around 2030, i.e. in the blink of an eye.
The stronger the machine, the more worrying its malfunctioning may be. “Out of Control” deals with this issue from the inside, not from the human but from the machine’s point of view, portraying the inner conflict of a faulty artificial system which suffers an external attack, unaware of what or why this has happened.”

“The nature and history of the Atomium make it the ideal location for this installation. The site embodies the Golden Age of sci-fi, when questions first arose regarding the relationship between humankind and conscious machines (Asimov and its three laws of robotics). The Atomium was built during a time period which saw the future both as a promise of advancement and as a source of concern. The era of the atom, of course, but also that of telematics, very high speed trains, and supersonic aircrafts. Opportunities were being discerned. Fifty years later, the questions remain.
By welcoming the “Out of Control” lost machine, the Atomium reminds us that technology never stops questioning humankind about its nature.”

By Visual System, 2014. More info here.

[divider]Dark spaces shaped by moving lights [/divider]

“SoundForm is a series of on-going studies exploring the relationship between sound and movement through the medium of light”

By Marshmallow Laser Feast,  Sound by Matthias Kispert.

Robin Fox’s laser show
“Robin Fox’s laser show describes, in three-dimensional visual space, the geometry of sound. Enveloping the audience in synchronous sound and light information, the performance is designed to resemble a synaesthetic experience where what you hear is also what you see. The same electricity generated to move the speaker cones is sent simultaneously to high-speed motors that deflect the laser light on an x/y axis converting sonic vibration into light movement.”

By Robin Fox. More info here.

“LSP is a research trajectory exploring compositional relationships between sound, space, light and colour. Lissajous figures form the starting point for the developed relations between sound and visual shape. By combining laser light and fog it becomes possible to project in space, instead of on a surface. The result is an environment where the audience is standing inside the work. It’s a true sensory experience in which it’s difficult to make a separation between the experience of the work and the work itself.”

By Edwin van der Heide . More info here.

Lapsus Interludes
Series of sound and light shows played in the interludes between different artists at the Lapsus Festival 2014.
“Parameters of movement for light and color were used also for electronic music control, giving as a result a tightly linked sound & light experience.”
“… so basically, creating light sequences means creating sound sequences at the same time…”

By Playmodes. More info here.

Anthony MCaal’ Solid Light
“By turning the active principles of cinema – light as a medium and projectors as the source – into a new sculptural artistic dimension, physically consisting in large-scale light projections installations with screening and haze machines to show up the beam of light, the British-born American artist has created a hybrid field of creation, known under the term of “solid light films” that has been keeping an influence for lot of contemporary artists’ works”  (source digitarti )

Five Minutes of Pure Sculpture – Anthony McCall | Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin”>Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart.

By Anthony Mcaal. For more information watch the artist’s talk at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, read a good resume of Mcaal work at the EYEFILM.NL’s program related to his recent exhibition and read the interview by Graham Ellard & Stephen Johnstone.

Traveling back in time a couple decades, and collecting

[divider]Interactive Spaces developed in the 90s [/divider]

Boundary Functions
“Boundary Functions is a set of lines projected from overhead onto the floor, dividing people in the gallery from one another. When there is one person on its floor, there is no response. When two are present, a single line cuts between them bisecting the floor, and dynamically changing as they move. With more than two people, the floor divides into cellular regions, each with the quality that all space within it is closer to the person inside than any one else.”

By Scott Snibbe, 1998. More info at the project’s page.

World skin
“Armed with a camera, visitors are placed in a sinister war zone that is visualized on a large projection screen in 3D animation and video.”
“The war images are a collage of photographs and sequences from news reports from different zones and theaters of war; they show a world filled with mute violence. By operating photo cameras that are suspended from the ceiling, visitors take pictures of the war scenes and experience how the camera becomes a ‘weapon’ that enables them to wipe out the projected images.”

By Maurice Benayoun, 1997. Project page from the 2010’s WorldSkin version at V2.

“Immersive interactive virtual-reality environment installation with 3D computer graphics and interactive 3D sound, a head-mounted display and real-time motion tracking based on breathing and balance. Osmose is a space for exploring the perceptual interplay between self and world, i.e., a place for facilitating awareness of one’s own self as consciousness embodied in enveloping space.”

By Char Davies, 1995. More info at the project’s page.

The Legible City
“In The Legible City the visitor is able to ride a stationary bicycle through a simulated representation of a city that is constituted by computer-generated three-dimensional letters that form words and sentences along the sides of the streets.”
“The handlebar and pedals of the interface bicycle give the viewer interactive control over direction and speed of travel. The physical effort of cycling in the real world is gratuitously transposed into the virtual environment, affirming a conjunction of the active body in the virtual domain.”

By Jeffrey Shaw, 1988-1991. More info at the project’s page.

Desert Rain
“Desert Rain is a war game. Six players at a time suit up and go into the virtual desert which is video projected onto water spray”
“Standing on a footplate and zipped into a cubicle, each of the six team members explores motels, deserts and underground bunkers, communicating with each other within the virtual world … a world projected onto a screen of falling water. You have 30 minutes to find the target, complete the mission, and get to the final room, where others may have a very different idea of what actually happened out there.”

By Blast Theory, 1999. More info here.

[divider]Projects mixing digital/virtual and physical space and hybrid realities[/divider]

The traditional activity of art has been the representation of reality – manipulating materials to create tangible mirrors of our experience and desire. Now with the mechanisms of the digital technologies, the artwork can become itself a simulation of reality – an immaterial digital structure encompassing synthetic spaces, which we can literally enter
(Jeffrey Shaw, 1992. “Modalities of Interactivity and Virtuality”)

Hybrid spaces
“Using 3D computer graphics, laser beams and a 16-channel Ambisonic speaker array, Hybrid Spaces interrogates whether or not these three dimensional audiovisual imaging technologies can act as a clear cut barrier separating digital and physical space.”

By Tom Slater. [2014].

The Janus Machine
“While sitting at the chair in front of the scanner you are bathed in structured light, allowing the shape of your profile to be digitized and archived. This portrait, an attempt to capture your likeness in three dimensions, is compared to a library of other portraits captured in the same manner. From these comparisons emerges an outline of the captured form: a playful perspective on your relationship to others, built from light, inviting you to explore further.”

By Kyle McDonald, Zachary Lieberman, Theodore Watson, Daito Manabe. [2011]. More info at “The Creators Project“‘s article and a nice collection of photographs at this Flickr set.

Frequences [Light Quanta]
“Sound and light installation, 2014.
100 sound and light fragments organized aleatorically within a structure made of 100 transparent laser cut acrilyc panels.”

By Nicolas Bernier . More info here. [2014]

Light barrier
“Kimchi and Chips create phantoms of light in the air, crossing millions of calibrated beams with their work . The light installation creates floating graphic objects which animate through space as they do through time.
A fascination with natural light drove the technique of the impressionist painters, they explored new qualities of colour and the trail of time. Kimchi and Chips’ study of digital light discusses a new visual mechanic, their installation adding to the visual language of space and light. As the artist’s inquiry deepens, brush strokes become descriptive like code, detailing reality and allying light with canvas.
This system creates truly volumetric projections which can define 3 dimensional forms in space, in contrast to ‘hologram’ screens and fog screens which create planar images.”

By Kimchi and Chips (Elliot Woods + Mimi Son). More info here 2014.

Lunar surface
“Drawing digital mass in physical space
Long exposure photography, Projection, Live scanning.”


“A vertical flag of fabric is stroked by the wind, displaced by curves of air pressure, swinging back and forth. As it sweeps, it extrudes a trail of light which draws a moon floating in space. The flag renders this moon from another reality, the silk surface acts as a boundary between 2 realities, intermediating the laws of the 2 realms.”

By Kimchi and Chips (Elliot Woods + Mimi Son). More info at the project page and the article at creative applications 2014.

[divider]Immersive/responsive environments used as explorative spaces or performances stages[/divider]

Participants are immersed in hyper-sensorial alternative mixed realities and interact with sound and visuals.

Schematics describing the PSYCHIC SPACE’s  interactive system (left) and MAZE’s (1973) interaction (right). Check the article for more information
In 1977 Myron Krueger wrote the article “Responsive Environments” where he reports in detail his work on computer vision, silhouette extraction, responsive environments and interactive systems. He defined the vocabulary and the technical ground-breaks for nowadays interactive spaces and real-time interaction between men and machines.

“The environments described suggest a new art medium based on a commitment to real-time interaction between men and machines. The medium is comprised of sensing display and control systems. It accepts inputs from or about the participant and then it output in a way he can recognize as corresponding to his behavior”.
[Krueger,Myron (1977). “Responsive Environments”. AFIPS 46 National Computer Conference,423-33.Montvale, N.J.]

Frames from VIDEOPLACE

One of the most important Krueger’s project was VIDEOPLACE (1975-1990s ) “a conceptual environment with no physical existence”, A body’s silhouette is tracked and transferred to a virtual world, where is able to interacted with others and manipulate elements through gestures and movements.

Soundfield was a “commission by WIRED Magazine to create a new interactive media art installation as part of Bentley Motors Night Call event in the historic Wind Tunnels at Farnborough Airport.”

“Our response to this challenge was to explore the relationship between sound, space and energy while referencing the building’s long history of aeronautical design and engineering. The resulting piece was a sound reactive video installation built with custom software in Openframeworks that uses a realtime fluid dynamics engine to distort and manipulate a set of vector fields. We designed and developed this custom software to allow us to visually map this huge space and to create a playful interactive piece that would engage the audience at the event while they walking through the tunnel.”

By Light Surgeons. More info at the project’s page.

“EPILOG is an interactive room installation applying light, sound and haze. By immersing into a 25-minute constantly transforming world of moving images and sounds, you are invited to swing into interaction by physically replying to the moving patterns – either on your own or together with others.
An interactive floor projection reacting to your movements in real time gets the visitor moving and, through the movement creating three-dimensional spaces made of light.”

By Sebastian Huber, Johannes Timpernagel, Michael Burk. More info at the project’s page.

“Starfield is an installation where a swing is used to create a large interactive starry sky.With a Kinect installed behind the swing and a video projector, the software creates a galaxy of stars in which the user wanders with the rhythm of his swing.
Created with openFrameworks, the application allows to configure almost any type of swing. With anaglyph glasses, a 3D mode gives an even more immerse experience.”

By Lab2012. More info here.

“Anatta is an dance performance that blends interactive technology and performative art in such a way that neither element dictates how the other proceeds. Via laser-tracking, the mostly monochrome projections on the installation space’s walls and floor react to the movements of dancer Joanna Gruberska (PL) and vice-versa. The result is reciprocal interplay among the human body, the projection and the performance space, whereby the boundary between action and reaction becomes blurred”

By Viktor Delev (concept, sound and interaction) and Joanna Gruberska (concept, choreography, performance). More info here.

Top: “Cinéorama” simulating a  ride in a hot air balloon over Paris (1900)/ BOTTOM: Audience observing the immersive AV piece NIMBES (2014) at Statosphere, an 18 meter diameter dome in Montreal

[divider]Audience is emerged into alternative mixed realities [/divider]

When observing this recent immersive spaces there is an instant connection with the “Motion Panoramas”, “Electric Cyclorama” and other similar spaces from the XIX century.

Erkki Huhtamo wrote an excellent book collecting these early “mixed reality spaces” that were built to transport the audiences to temporary autonomous spaces.
The book, [Illusions In Motion: Media Archaeology Of The Moving Panorama And Related Spectacles] is the result of very extensive research (done in the last twenty-five years) into the “moving panoramas”, huge rolls of painted canvas unrolled in front of an audience and enhanced with interpretational lectures, live music, sound effects and often dioramic “special effects”.” (Neural review).

Some time ago I posted an article named “Old/New Media” where I made some parallelism parallelisms and analogies with some of these old illusions and techniques and the ones used today in new media performances.

An immersive installation that combines light, sound and movement to make the visitor distrust their senses.


“Momentum consists of twelve pendulums that activate light and sound as they swing, drawing attention to the Curve’s vast arc, inviting you to journey through the space guided by your heightened senses. Each pendulum has been meticulously designed and built using steel, aluminium, and custom electronics. The sound is individual to each pendulum, prepared and tuned to seamlessly resonate as they move within the Curve. “

By Universal Visual Artists, 2014. More info here.

“The ‘320° Licht’ installation of URBANSCREEN uses the cathedral-like beauty of the Gasometer Oberhausen as the starting point for a fascinating game with shapes and light.
Within a radius of 320 degrees graphic patterns grow and change on the 100-metre high inside wall of the Gasometer. The observer experiences the interplay between real and virtual space, in which the Gasometer seems to dissolve into its own, filigree structures and yet finally always reverts to its clear shape.”

By Urbanscreen, 2014. More info here.

“Nimbes explores the ontology of observation and its relationship to cosmogony, notions of intelligence and individuality.
As a universe comes into being, emergent structures arise and determine its unfolding.
From the perspective of observation, intelligence is an emergent property of the universe in which we find ourselves. “

Some stills from Nimbes

“As if from a desire to participate in the process of unfolding, we create both architectures and narratives, repetitions of the cosmogony, microcosms of the universe, in which all our actions find symbolic expression on a macrocosmic scale. But within this process, questions arise, linear continuity is interrupted by the uncertainties of the hypothesis of stability on which we base our solid notions, which have provided the foundations for our architectures, the grounds of our narratives. Observation however, the thread which unites all experience, a lens that can not see itself, invisibly and perpetually remains”

Some moments from Nimbes and Quantum (1024Arquitecture) both projects at Statosphere

Related to immersive projection inside domes, Joanie compiled some interesting notes about dome projections, check it in this blog post. By Joanie Lemercier and James Ginzburg at Statosphere, 2014. More info and complete credits here.

” ‘Axial’ is an audiovisual immersive space. Through the digital manipulation of 16 motorized light beams, dynamic light architectures are created, which evolve in space and time, creating alive forms.
Sound designs of the piece are unlinkable from dynamic lighting, as it belongs to the same logical system, giving birth to sound geom,etries, sound and light architectures which surround the audience in a dance of light.”

By Playmodes and MID, 2014. More info here.

Infinite room
“A 15’ x 8’ mirrored room and subtly choreographed pixel spheres echoed the LED animations, creating an endless digital landscape. Designed in code and running in real-time, the experience tells the story of the world around us through the medium of a simple US quarter.”

By Universal Everything, 2014. More info and full credits here.

[divider]Stage performances that happen inside responsive or interactive audiovisual immersive spaces [/divider]

“Breakdown explores a 2 dimensional simulated world in which its physical rules are constantly being changed and manipulated by an external entity. An inhabitant of this world is in constant motion to adapt to its characteristics. He interacts with the physical rules and develops a dialogue with the entity who controls the forces. Eventually the inhabitant ends up breaking the world’s rules and release himself into a new world, a new dimension.”

Below four stills from the ending part, where spherical particles on the screen are transformed my magic into physical ping pong balls that drop from the ceiling:


Full performance video here.
By Rodrigo Carvalho [Interactive Visuals] // Yago de Quay [Dance, Voice, and Music Composition]
Sunny Shen [Dance and Choreography] // Po-Yang Sung [Lighting] // Meg Seidel [Videographer]
More info here.

“Correlating Movement, Sound and Light, Delimat/Harrer/Schlesinger/Voggeneder investigate different concepts of Absorption in a stage concept for Ars Electronicas DeepSpace theatre. “

By Magdalena Schlesinger [Dance/Movement] // Hygin Delimat [Dance/Movement] // Dominik Harrer [Composition / Generated Audio] // Florian Voggeneder  [Projection] More info here.

An interactive dance and media performance that looks for the answers to a four main question:
“What choreography emerges when software is your partner?
When virtual and actual image space share the same physics?
Where everything that moves on the stage is both interactive and independent?
And any form, dancing or still, can be transformed into a kinetic projection surface?”

By Klaus Obermaier. More info here.

“Hakanaï is a haiku dance performance taking place in a cube of moving images projected live by a digital performer.
In Japanese, this word Hakanaï is the union of two elements, one alluding to man and one alluding to the dream. It is used to define the ephemeral, the fragile, the transitory, the intangible nature of matter. This words together with the tulle covered cube, create the starting point for this piece.”

By Adrien M / Claire B. More info and full credits.

Câmara Neuronal
“Câmara Neuronal is a neuro-audio-visual performance that unfolds itself around the confessions and reminiscences of an alien, performed by Adolfo Luxúria Canibal, with his physical movements and his mental and sensitive activity being captured and translated, in real time, to sound and visual compositions, creating an environment of immersive projection.”

By Adolfo Luxúria Canibal [Performance, Poetry] // João Martinho Moura [Digital Art]
Miguel Pedro Guimarães [Music]. More info and full credits.

[divider]Audiovisual immersive spaces [/divider]

Mixed augmented realities where the audiences are immersed into hyper-sensory environments and induced into synthetic sensations.

Live audio visual performance designed for immersive environment, produced in the satosphere at the Société des Arts Technologiques for Mutek festival in 2013.

Music by Fraction, visuals by Maotik. More info here.

”Audiovisual installation “Void” is an attempt to visualize the idea of emptiness. Emptiness here is regarded not as an absence of everything, but as an initial state when anything can appear. To see how dark room turns into the Big Bang epicenter a visitor should become “empty”. Every move and sound, captured by sensitive equipment, stops the 360 degrees audiovisual flow around.”

By Tundra.

“The piece proposed for the Centennial Hall of Wroclaw is based around the notion of timelessness in architecture, and the idea of what future has meant throughout the 20th century. By using references such as Fritz Lang’s Metropolis or the utopian projects of Archigram to confront the different visions of the future at different times, Romain Tardy and Thomas Vaquié were interested in trying to create a vision of a future with no precise time reference. A timeless future.”

By AntiVJ. Directed by Romain Tardy & Thomas Vaquié. More info and full credits here.

“Video and sound sculpture consisting of two projectors and 24 transparent screens. The screens were positioned so as to create a diamond like shape when viewed from the sides and a the illusion of a tunnel of light when viewed from the ends, each instance of the image getting progressively larger. Sound was limited so as to allow for moments where the projection would ‘breath’ on it’s own”.

By Ilan Katin. More info here.

“”Isotopes” is an open space which can also be perceived as a prison. At first, the slow and hypnotizing moving lights attracts the visitor into the heart of it. Then, the rhythm and the intensity become continually more aggressive until it generates immaterial barriers: it’s easy to get in but neigh impossible to get out. This echoes the way humans approach nuclear power. First seduced, then addicted by its comfortable energy, humans have become trapped in an unstable situation. The rhythm of the lights and the sounds bring back the connection between the Japanese and their awareness of radioactive omnipresence. Sometimes you can forget it, like the glow of a night light, but sometimes the conscience gains the upper hand, and fear comes back with loss of ground reference. Through the metamorphoses of its appearance, this installation leaves the visitor between what once existed and what didn’t, drawing them into the spectrum of their own volatile emotions.”

By Nonotak Studio. More info here.

Collection of projects that make use of mapped projection and perspective tricks to change the perception of the space and extend its dimensions. Inside these augmented spaces the perspective references we have from the real world are distorted leading the audience into illusionary hyper dimensional mixed realities.

“Audiovisual installation that generates space distortions. Relationship between space and time, accelerations, contractions, shifts and metamorphosis have been the lexical field of the project. This installation aimed at establishing a physical connection between the virtual space and the real space, blurring the limits and submerging the audience into a short detachment from reality.
Lights generate abstract spaces while sounds define the echoes of virtual spaces. Daydream is an invitation to contemplation. The frontality of the installation leads the visitors to a passive position.”

By Nonotak Studio. More info here.

Onion skin
” Onion Skin is made up of a physical dimension – a module of two walls, positioned at right angles – augmented by a projection and a 5.1 sound broadcast.
Onion Skin is a graphical work about the re-composition of time and space through a game of perspectives, both of the exhibition space itself and that of the projection canvas. “
“The whole experience of the installation is based on a very specific point of view. A precise position from which a new dimension is revealed to the audience by anamorphosis. The simple geometric elements (“peelings”) that seemed to be flat at first suddenly start delimiting a new space. The illusion of a new dimension within the installation slowly appears as the onion skins seem to be leaving their physical surface behind.”

Concept & visual content: Olivier Ratsi/AntiVJ. Music: Thomas Vaquié. More info here.

“Quadratura was the technique used in the baroque to extended architecture through trompe l’oeil and perspective constructions generated with paint or sculpture.
The site-specific installation presented at Matadero Madrid follows the same principles but manipulating space by means of projected light. The main axis of the room of Abierto x Obras is extended and the limits of the physical space dissolved.”

By Pablo Valbuena. More info here.

3Destruct is an immersive installation, a large semi transparent cube that generates light an sound, and as the visitor walks through, he loses his landmarks in this non-linear universe that destroys any spacial coherence.”

By :  Yannick Jacquet (Lego_man), Jérémie Peeters (Shirü) (Visuals) and
Thomas Vaquié (sound). More info here.

Vanishing point
“Vanishing Point employs perspective as both tool and visual outcome to reshape, redefine and represent a space. Inspired by sketches of Leon Battista Alberti, Leonardo DaVinci and Albrecht Dürer, UVA sends lines into space from an arbitrary vanishing point, creating different volumes, divisions and rooms to be explored by the audience”

By United Visual Artists. More info here.

[divider]Dance performances inside responsive audiovisual spaces. [/divider]

Bodies of the performers are tracked by computer vision and its movements data used to manipulate sound & visuals.

“Glow” subtly explores the power structures between man and machine and follows the life-cycle of a new kind of cyborg – from the beauty of a supernaturally, sparkling foetus and the adolescence of logic and lines, to a body hunted in a threatening world of shadows.”

By Chunky Move and Freider Weiss. More info and details here.

“Stocos creates a space in which natural and artificial entities, sounds and visuals coexist and interrelate. It relies on stochastic processes and swarm simulations for the creation of dance movements, musical compositions and video imagery. A dense network of interactions among algorithms, dance, music and visuals establishes coherence, simultaneity and presence in the behavioral and aesthetic characteristics of the piece.”
“As a result, the stage becomes a responsive environment whose visual and acoustic properties emerge from the mutual interactions between dancer and simulation”

Below a detail from the “scene 6” and a documentary with interviews with the creators and inside details.


By Pablo Palacio y Muriel Romero (Conception and idea) + Daniel Bisig (Interaction and swarm simulations). More details and full credits here.

Dancing with swarming particles
Interactive installation and performance that intends to explore the relationship between a physical user/performer and a virtual performer the “avatar” which has the physical characteristics of morphing flocking particles.
The avatar’s body is composed by flocking particles that initially float in the virtual space without any apparent order. It is through the energy of the physical user/performer’s movements that the particles will start to morph into the avatar’s body.

After the performance, the audience was invited to experience and interact with their own swarming particles’ avatar (check [02:22]).
by Rodrigo Carvalho/Visiophone, Tamar Regev (performer), Anna Mura (coordinator). Made in Specs [Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems group] / UPF / Barcelona. More info and full performance here.

“Frost is a dance performance where the warm intensity of the body contrasts with the frozen imprints left behind. It is a performance about memory.
In a motion sensitive scenography, graphical “stills” of the dancers movement are appearing on stage along side a sound scape inspired by breaking Icebergs – the physical drive in the dancing body becomes the narrative that feeds the cognitive visualization of memory.”

By Recoil Performance Group. Tina Tarpgaard (Choreographer), Ole Kristensen and Jonas Jongejan (Visuals and Software). More details and full credits here.

[divider]Dance performances, where the performers are inside a responsive audiovisual space[/divider]

By the use of several technologies like computer vision/body tracking,  projection mapping,sound&light synchrony, among others,  the performer and the space are augmented, transformed and morphed into temporal fantasies and alternative worlds.
In the darkness of the theatre halls the audiences are transported to places of transition between the real worlds and cyberspace action arenas.

Body navigation
“Two dancers and their digital reproduction is the scenograph­ic frame of this humorous and emotional portrait of human re­lations.
Based on rules and structured in a game like manner, the per­formance makes way for a playful dialogue between man, woman and the digital “footprints” they leave behind”.

By Tina Tarpgaard (Choreography), Ole Kristensen and Jonas Jongejan (interactive system and visuals), Hilary Briggs & Luca Marazia and Laura Lohi & Nelson Smith (Dancers). More info here.

3D [Embodied]
“3D [Embodied] is a mixed reality performance involving a virtual world as a platform to explore 3D immersive spatial virtual and physical displays. Combining real time geometry perspective transformation of the peripheral projected space and skeleton tracking from the dance performer, 3D [Embodied] experiences spatial augmented reality.”

Final performance, Austin, 2013

Skeleton tracking and perspective test

By Joao Beira,  Choreography by Yacov Sharir, sound design by Bruce Pennycook and technical support by Sebastian Kox, Yago de Quay and Marta Ferraz. More detailed info :
Beira, J., Carvalho R., Kox S. (2013). “Mixed reality immersive design: a study in interactive dance”. in “ImmersiveMe ‘13” Proceedings of the 2013 ACM international workshop on Immersive media experiences.

Seventh sense
Immersive environment where the performers are in the middle of a box with projection on three walls and the floor. Their position is being constantly tracked by a computer vision system on the top, and every motion has repercussions in a 3D mesh geometry.

By Anarchy Dance and Ultra Combo. More info here.

“Trinity is an audiovisual interactive dance piece which tells the journey of a body going through different states of perception of the space. Through movement, the body is immersed in an environment of textures and audiovisual landscapes that not only accompany but will push to a transformation process.”

By Oscar Sol (visuals and interaction), Iris Heitzinger (choreography and dance), Ramón Prada (music), Ariadna Papiol (costume design). More info here.

[divider]Places dominated by space-time disorders [/divider]

Cyberspaces built on bright grids of data where it is possible to interact with alternative relativities, and manipulate space, time, sound and vision. Places that do not intend to simulate the real world, but to augment it, give new perceptions of space and time,  “and define arbitrary, abstract and otherwise impossible relationships between action and result.” Krueger, Myron (1977). “Responsive Enviroments”.

“She touched the power stud and the bedroom vanished behind a colorless wall of sensory static. Her head filled with a torrent of white sound. (…) Her fingers found a random second stud and se was catapulted through the static wall, into cluttered vastness, the notional void of cyberspace.” (Gibson, William (1988), “Mona Lisa Overdrive”).

“Blaus is an immersive space where light and sound relate intimately to impact on the visitor.
Movement of light, sound and laser beams generates a kinetic atmosphere that transforms the architecture into the main character of a geometric play.
Blaus re-draws the space by creating dynamical  light figures which emerge from the architectural characteristics.
architecture itself is used as a musical source, since the study of the room acoustics and it’s resonance frequency allows for using the space as a giant musical instrument.”

Watch the full performance here. By Playmodes and MID. More info here.

You naked
For the videoclip of Jamie Lidell “You naked”, the studio flat-e developed an immersive “cage”, where the singer, in the middle is surrounded by audio visualisations. Through several projection techniques, real time graphics are mapped in space, and while the James Lidell performs the space around him morphed and shapes into several augmented realities.

By Falt-e for Warp Records. More detailed information at Creative Application article.

“Forest is a large interactive musical laser installation. This giant interactive forest covers almost 450 square meters and is composed of over 150 musical ‘trees’ made of rods and lasers. The audience can freely explore the space, physically tapping, shaking, plucking, and vibrating the trees to trigger sounds and lasers.”

“Due to the natural springiness of the material, interacting with the trees causes them to swing and oscillate, creating vibrating patterns of light and sound. Each tree is tuned to a specific tone, creating harmonious sounds spatialized and played through a powerful surround sound setup.”

By Marshmallow Laser Fest

Light leaks
“A scattered array of fifty mirror balls reflect light from three projectors, filling a room completely with small reflections, casting patterns that fill the visitor’s peripheral vision. Creating a curious space that alternates between a meditative state, and an uneasy imbalance. An experiment in combining a found object with computer vision to create a profound and unusual experience.”

By Kyle Mcdonald and Jonas Jongejan

“Scenarios is an audiovisual installation created by Onionlab for Yota Devices. Bordering on abstraction, Scenarios shows some of the utilities of Yota Devices’ new phone, characterised by its dual screen. The rear screen, made of liquid crystal, can store important information such as a boarding card or map almost permanently.”

By Onionlab.
More info here.

[divider]Virtual, augmented and mixed realities spaces built on a tridimensional matrix [/divider]

Where the data is materialised in space, like in Gibson‘s Cyberspace.
”Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.” William Gibson “Neuromancer”, 1981

“Screenlab 0x02”

Inside these alternative parallel worlds the physics, the matter and logic do not work in the same way as in the real world. They are metaphoric places of transition between the real and the virtual world,with “concepts not realizable in the physical world”, places with “forces in non-uniform fields, non projective geometric transformations, and high-inertia,low friction motion, (…) It is a looking glass into a mathematical wonderland” Sutherland, Ivan E. “The ultimate display”, 1965

Screenlab 0x02
ScreenLab 0x02 was an artistic Residence by a group of artist( Elliot Woods, Kyle McDonald, Joanie Lemercier, and Joel Gethin Lewis) at MediaCityUK, University of Salford.
During the residence they explored new modes of perception inside of a CAVE reality environment. “The piece by Joanie Lemercier and Kyle McDonald celebrated the five Platonic solids in an unusually immersive virtual reality environment: a space where, without geometric primitives, there would be nothing Using 14 projectors mapped in a CAVE, with head tracking, projection mapping, stereo 3d, motion capture, and wave field synthesis, an absorbing audiovisual space is presented for explored by a single visitor. While interfacing with the CAVE proved challenging, the duo created a number of varied outputs all revolving around the theme described above.” (via CreativeApplications)

“Aether celebrates the five Platonic solids representing the elements of earth, air, water, fire and the heavens, without which there would be nothing. Using the Octave’s 14 projectors with a combination of projection mapping techniques, motion capture and wave field synthesis technologies to create an absorbing audiovisual space is to presented for and explored by a single visitor immersive single-person experience.”
more info: By: Elliot Woods, Kyle McDonald, Joanie Lemercier, Joel Gethin Lewis

“Beyond the northern winds region lays Hyperborea, an immersive geometrical land
where generative processes carve freely forms adjusted by wind dynamics, structuring a mythological engagable polys.”

Hyperborea at ICST’s Immersive Lab

“An immersive game-like experience, where the viewer drives its avatar through the game space, whilst experiencing the spatialized composition of elements scattered across several difficulty levels into reaching Hyperborea.”

Hyperborea (Dome version) at Festival Cidade Preocupada 2013

Hyperborea project lives under three different versions: Immersive Lab, Dome, and Solids.
More info about Hyperborea here and here. By Andre Sier

Sonos Playground
“Sonos Playground Deconstructed is a site-specific installation in the Nam June Paik / HBO Production Lab at the Museum of the Moving Image. It is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Spectacle: The Music Video, April 3–June 16, 2013
Visitors are able to select any song from an iPad and watch a visualization of the music projected onto the surrounding walls. Through motion-capture technology, visitors can interact with and manipulate the animation through movement.
The installation aims to bring minimalist art to life as an immersive music video environment. Inspired by the wall drawings of Sol LeWitt and the room-flooding sound of the Sonos Playbar.”

By RedPaperHeart

High Arctic
“Set in the 2100AD, High Arctic is a monument to an Arctic past which invites us to think about human impact in the Arctic region and contemplate its fragility, its beauty, and its scale.”

“High Arctic invites visitors to explore a vast abstracted arctic landscape made with sculptures, light and sound. Using a UV torch to interact with animations, visitors will discover 3000 glaciers that will have melted by the end of this century and be confronted with human impact to this environment over the course of history.”

More info here. By United Visual Artist.

“Combining a water pond, a physical point cloud formed by 12,000 illuminated spheres, 8 high-speed laser projectors and the interactions of its visitors, Hyundai’s design philosophy “Fluidic Sculpture” is brought to life and transformed into a vivid art experience.
Shaped by visitor interaction, randomly distributed molecules begin to swarm – aggregating and accumulating. They are constantly in motion, reacting to the people who seek to engage. Ever-changing dynamic light sculptures are created, conveying the essence of Hyundais design language, the inspirational role played by nature and the ability to continuously adapt and evolve. “

More info here.  By The White Void.

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