Auto Observatory

Auto Observatory [2012-2015] is an experiential live cinema installation, immersing the audience with tactile, visual and sonic sensations that result from a chaotic interplay between digital and physical feedback systems.

Whereas a traditional cinema screen takes the spectator into a world well beyond his/her perceived space and time, the screen presented here serves a phenomenological purpose: It is directly subject to the forces that surround it and takes the spectator into a world of images that both the screen and the spectator physically relate to.
The abstract nature of the emerging patterns do evoke external associations in the spectator, like flocking birds, swarming fishes and cloud patterns observed from the sky. These phenomena and their causal mechanisms are in essence chaotic, so small changes in one part of the system can grow to have large effects on the system as a whole. The feedback loop thus serves both as a direct means and reference for this work.

Four computer-controlled air fans spread throughout a space are instructed to blows air like a lung that exhales and inhales. Slowly in and out. Slower and faster. Each fan’s pattern differs slightly from the other and the joined intermingling forces result in a choreography of complex and fluid patterns.
Amidst this environment of moving air, a transparent screen is situated that moves with the air. The video images on this screen emerge from a feed-back system: a camera observes the screen and sends this image to a video projector that projects the same image precisely in the same place. Because the screen is in constant flux by the air that moves it, this feedback process becomes as dynamic as the air that surrounds it.