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   Undertoad  Saturday Jun 14 10:57 AM

6/14/2003: Interactive modern art installation

Japanese artist Mariko Mori created this huge bubble called "Wave UFO". The installation, in New York, is 34 feet long and 17 feet high.

Three people can enter the thing at a time; they lie down on surfaces covered in a modern gel, half fluid, half solid.

Electrodes are placed on their heads, and then for seven minutes they watch a computer animation, projected on the dome interior. And the animation is partly controlled by their brain activity!

I found this on an interesting weblog concerned with design and technology: Z + Partners Weblog. They don't have a permanent link to the item that describes this piece, but the description and the rave about it are good reading, so if you care to click, scroll down for the story headlined "Mariko Mori: Sister from Another Planet".

Based on Mori's previous work, it seems like this installation is a decent compromise between pop-ish art and more serious stuff. Seems like the sort of thing you could enjoy on several different levels, bring to it what you want to bring. The Z-Plus entry takes it very seriously as a point in the "relationship between art, technology and the future". I like that.

It's fascinating, because it's art that changes according to what you are. It also changes according to what your fellow participants are. And then you are interacting with the others in the room.

I imagine it wasn't just chance or room that made her choose three as the standard occupancy. With one person, there is only interaction with the computer program that controls the animation. With two people, the interaction is more directly between the two. Adding that third person makes the whole situation more complex, wildly changing the social dynamic. There is a certain instability in three people that doesn't exist in a couple.

The installation runs through the end of July.

xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Jun 14 05:44 PM

It's beautiful and the concept is cool but I can hear the liability lawyers smacking their lips. The stairs alone make me wonder if allowing the public to use it will be sucessful.
The Z+Partners weblog is great! Links to all kinds of really interesting stuff. The snooping billboards freaked me, and the Yesmen was a riot.

Billy  Saturday Jun 14 10:17 PM

It is cool

The first one is so cool. I want to touch it.

SteveDallas  Saturday Jun 14 11:29 PM

This reminds me oddly of an art installation described in Lois McMaster Bujold's "Cetaganda", part of the Miles Vorkosigan series.

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