Tactile Field

PhotosTactile Field is a proposal for an interactive installation that uses information generated by people moving within and around a mixed-use building located at 1 Kingsway, Vancouver.
DescriptionTactile Field is a proposal for an interactive installation that uses information generated by people moving within and around a mixed-use building located at 1 Kingsway, Vancouver. Information activates a solar powered array of mechanically responsive, translucent acrylic tiles and LED fixtures located in front of the building’s south-west atrium window, forming a large scale, low-resolution screen. The piece also uses the changing tile angle to create other visual output in the physical field, such as ripples, waves and currents. The image on the screen is created, changed and playfully affected by both the ambient and gestural movements of people in the Kingsway space through an integrated system of cameras and input points embedded in circulation elements of the building, such as the steps and handrails of the stairwell.

Tactile Field is partially inspired by the notion that there is something fundamental about our ability to make an imprint on the world. With the piece we wanted to take some of the fascination with making immediate but temporary marks and traces in our environment. Tactile Field posits movement – representations of individual and collective movement, and gestures, as the activity of the community itself – as the organizing principle that animates a responsive, material, site-specific system or ecology.

Tactile Field is a layered system that extends a fabric of sensor-driven input points into a selection of sites throughout the building with which people have regular physical contact. Circulation areas such as handrails, steps, and buttons, as well as furniture pieces – such as a bench in the lobby area – are embedded with tactile inputs where the ambient movement or direct gestures of visitors to the space will have an effect on the image or pattern displayed. The project possesses an inherent notion of collaboration in the sense that a viewer whose movements affects the image is working with an image or pattern that is created by the presence of other people in the space.

Infointeractive installation / Vancouver / 2005
with Kate Armstrong, Marc Baumgartner and Adam Chapman

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