Microworld Ithra

// Oct-Jan 2020 //

Our latest Microworld is taking place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and will be part of the exciting Tanween Festival.

We were given the opportunity to travel to this extraordinary country to take part in the Tanween Festival which celebrates creativity and play in Ithra (The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture). Our Microworld is situated in the children’s museum in a 340sqm space. We used 11 projectors and multiple computers and filled the walls with large scale immersive interactives. This is our biggest Microworld yet with complex projection rigs and art stations. Working at such a distance was a huge challenge but everyone has pulled together and produced a stunning exhibition with lots of “wows” from people as they enter through the curtained doorway.

The Tanween festival runs for 2 weeks with international artists and entertainers spread around the gorgeous Zaha Hadid designed cultural centre, running talks, workshops, exhibitions, performances, and a range of festivities. Saudi is rapidly opening up culturally and there’s a sense of excitement in the air with new opportunities. In the last month, they have opened up new tourist streams into the country.

There is a fast expanding young population who got stuck into the interactives and we found them really warm, open and fun, which was not what we expected. The Saudi’s had no problems being photo’ed and taking photos of themselves, the art and of us.

The pieces on show include some popular classics which we seem to show everywhere such as Multiple & Squidlets. We also reworked several pieces to fit in better with the themes of the show and the sensibilities of the museum. And we made two new pieces Chicken Monster for particularly young kids, and a generative recursive root-based Superorganism. We have included new interactive versions of Seed, Aeroplankton and Animats, and for Animacules we have introduced a new class of geometric creatures reflecting the many microscopic animal architects which build their own houses.

We taught several enthusiastic volunteers how to deliver simple sessions in creative coding and we’re interested to see how they develop this side of the exhibition, which runs alongside the show.

We’d like to thank the festival organisers for inviting us and all the technical support both in the UK and the international team in Saudi for putting on such a great spectacle. The show runs for 3 months until January 2020 and will surely receive tens of thousands of visitors.


Many more photos are  up on Flickr