This raw video I took one night while interactive technologist, James Tunick of The IMC LAB + GALLERY, and I were co-creating a first phase prototype of Respire gives a peek into our process for integrating sensor driven kinetic sculpture, audio, video. Also in this clip you can see the EKG-like screen which shows tidal data that drives the vertical movement of resin-covered plastic objects and bags found in waterways hanging in the background which were created by James Baker for his IMC show, Ebb and Flow.
My handheld shaky walk takes you to the small Biorock accretion tank in the back with experimental mesh forms being electrified through seawater to precipitate mineral deposits. The audio includes movie soundbites that inspired James Tunick. I had not thought about bringing voices into the project, so it was interesting to observe in myself and others how human voices and sci-fi memories stimulate a broad range of responses. I was also intrigued by his addition of climate change graphics as surrounding projections. That is one of the best parts of collaborating, of course, trialing and riffing off of each other with curiosity as we dive into our imaginations, areas of expertise, and the unknown.
Black/white video from actual iron lung footage in the 1940's and 1950's is spliced with vital coral imagery projected onto the "breathing coral" made with plastic bags sewn together over a steel sculpture. Breathing and movement of participants in the space, as well as ocean data, will continue to be the life force activating the exhibit.
In the next iteration, I imagine creating a very different feel and experience with the addition of an iron lung I purchased off ebay in 2012 so that the touring exhibit can more directly correlate to life support, concepts of technological advancement and cures for ailing coral reefs worldwide. Use of the ceiling has always been in the plan, and being in Mexico these past few months snorkeling and diving has shown me ocean illuminations that inspire how to bring a person in the land space to feel like they are in the sea, a sensory metaphor to being the coral. Whether you're lying in the iron lung looking up after a "nurse" helps you inside, or you're another observer interactor, I want to transport you into an altered reality that connects you with the non-verbal, fluid water animal that you are. I'm sure that this project will take numerous turns in my musings and renderings before phase 2 is realized.