An interaction

"A row of white lines quiver like gentle waves on a green wall. Entering the room causes our shadows to enter this green space. I reach my shadow hand up to a line and it dips and bulges. I run from side to side and waves form behind me. Three of us make a spider shape and lines dip to join our bodies."

 

Background

Our first version of Growth Lines was created for a Red Velvet Curtain Cult event at the De la Warr Pavillion in Bexhill on Sea and was a response to the theme 'line'. Our line referenced both the sea, visible from the gallery and the world's oldest spider's web which was discovered in a piece of amber nearby.

Early versions of the work saw mutated spiders hatching from lines swollen through user interaction. Thematically, the line is both a harbour of stability and also decay. Our latest piece relies on the simplicity of the line.

This interactive artwork represents a development of our research into intuitive interaction and multiple user interaction.

 

Technical description

Hardware · PC, Webcam, projector

Software · Flash

Projection surface · wall

Nature of interaction · shadow-driven (unencumbered)

White horizontal lines on a green background are front projected on to a large wall. Occasionaly, small dipping actions will occur, suggesting the vitality of the lines. The projector is positioned so that users' shadows will appear in the projected image once they enter the space. A webcam looks for these dark areas to instantly affect the line. The scale of the shadow will depend on where they stand in relation to the projector; this means they can manipulate the line with their whole body or with a single finger.

When presenting this work, the scale, width to height ratio and number of lines will depend on the exhibition space.

In our experience shadow-driven works enable intuitive interaction and this work has proved very engaging. People spend a long time playing with the undulations and watching others play.