Bodymover | 2000

By the end of the 90s, projection, real-time and image recognition systems had reached a level of technical sophistication that enabled the creation of large-scale, interactive floor projections. In contrast to other interactive systems popular at the time, which were mainly hand controlled with a mouse or a joystick, so-called sensitive floors introduced a system in which the user's whole body became the interface. People could move around freely in the room, interacting with not only the system but also with one another. Sensitive floors were an important milestone towards multi-user interaction in a virtual space with a clear focus on shared experience.
The immersive effect of sensitive floors was achieved by the scale of the interactive area, the enclosed nature of the space, but also importantly by the emotional effect of immediate whole-body interaction.

At the installation bodymover visitors were invited to interact on a 20 x 5 m area with one another and a range of sound objects.
A camera attached to the ceiling monitors the interaction area. the image tracking system picks up their position and body movement, and a virtual aura, a shining halo on the floor is projected around them. These auras follow the visitors around the room, changing shape in accordance with their movements. A quick stretch of an arm or leg causes a stream of particles to shoot out from the body in a straight line across the room.
When this stream of particles hits one of the sound objects or auras of other people in the room, different sounds are generated in accordance with the speed and direction of the movement. The interactive environment is designed as collaborative light and sound experience, encouraging visitors to join together in creating an audiovisual environment.

The project was commissioned for the Expo 2000 by Atelier Markgraf and realized in conjunction with my friends and colleagues at ART+COM. Special mention: Axel Schmidt.