Lilla LoCurto & Bill Outcault

The willful marionette
the willful marionette (2014) was created by artists Lilla LoCurto and Bill Outcault during a residency with the University of North Carolina Charlotte, working with the College of Computing and Informatics as well as the College of Art and Architecture. The marionette is 3d printed from the scanned image of a human figure and responds engagingly in real time to spontaneous human gestures by reading a viewer’s movements and expressions. Its strings are manipulated by motors and software and there are two depth sensors that read and analyze the behaviors and gestures of participants. The puppet’s subsequent actions are designed to elicit further responses, creating an exchange focusing on the frailty and insecurities of the human participant and raising issues of contemporary relevance. The intention of the project was not to create so much a perfectly functioning robot but rather to imbue an obviously mechanically actuated marionette with the ability to solicit a physical and emotional dialog with a viewer.

Lisa Park

Blooming
“Blooming” is an interactive audiovisual installation that highlights the importance of human connection. It takes the form of a life-size 3D Cherry blossom tree, which is a common symbol of social ties and transience of life in East Asian culture. As a response to participants’ skin-to-skin contacts, heart rate, and gestures, “Blooming” blossoms according to their intimacy. As audience members hold hands or embrace, the digital Cherry tree flowers bloom and scatter. When they let go off their physical contacts, the flower return to its pre-bloom state. The color of the flowers turns white or red based on participants’ heart rate as they interact with each other. (the faster the heart rate, the redder the tonality; the slower the heart rate, the whiter the tonality). In addition to the visual responses, sounds are also modulated according to the tree’s different stages: pre-bloom, blooming, petals falling.

YOKO ISHII AND HIROSHI HOMURA

It´s fire, you can touch it

On the other hand, an example of a work representing a difference in which the viewer is faced with participation in the event, is an installation by Yoko Ishii and Hiroshi Homura It’s fire, you can’t touch it (2007). In this work which appoints the active environment, onto the hands reached out by the participants, miniature light signs are projected—a Japanese tanka poem is running through, glyphs change form, fuse together, move. Here we deal with a poetic spectacle in which the perspective of cognitive interactivity, set off in contact with poetry, is complemented by tactile sensations and poems themselves are as if extracted from the environment by interactive gestures of receivers-readers.