Fluid shimmering patterns flow around a luminescent orb suspended in space as tones oscillate in the room. ANIMA is an entity that modifies sound and visuals as it reacts to and forages in its environment. This continuous exchange between viewer and sculpture unites them in a perpetual discourse through an interactive soundscape and visuals.

ANIMA is a sculptural installation developed to explore the relationship between itself and its surroundings through the use of movement, texture, light and sound. The installation consists of a giant glowing sphere measuring two meters in diameter. This larger-than-life entity is suspended from the ceiling, as if in mid-air, in a darkened room. The luminescent sculpture acts as the sole light source for the space, drawing viewers in as it reacts to their presence. Visuals of a viscous metallic fluid envelop the globe’s surface creating an intriguing and mysterious ambiance as textures distort and flow around the shape. The reaction of the programmed light formations is a remediation of the surroundings, feasting on its environment to create an immersive and interactive experience of light and sound.

The spherical projection is achieved from inside the globe with a powerful wide angle projector and fisheye lens, producing images in a full 360 degree directional beam. Modulating frequencies audible in the installation respond to those in the space as sound is picked up and resonated back as feedback to the atmosphere.

Through this process of refining behavior and visual complexity, ANIMA becomes life-like and impressive. Installed in the round, the piece is experienced from all sides. In a unique way, ANIMA creates an intelligent reactive dialogue with all bodies within its surroundings. The sculpture takes on an ethereal life of its own, as it and the viewer continue their dynamic exchange. Participants, the orb and soundscape combine to perpetually influence each other and create an immersive and captivating experience.

Initially a work commissioned for the Amsterdam Dance Event, the installation has since toured and exhibited at various galleries and events in the Netherlands and Berlin such as LEHRTER SIEBZEHN, TEDxDelft, and the Kantor Art & Technology festival.

The third incarnation of the work, Anima III – Tasmashi, will be on view in Amsterdam on Saturday November 7th at the Van Gogh Museum as part of Museum Night 2015.

Collaboration with: Nick Verstand, Frouke ten Velden
Creative Direction: onformative
Design: Mick van Olst, João da Fonseca
Code: João da Fonseca
Audio development: Geert Schaap
Hardware Prodiver: Pufferfish
Support by: Marina Henao

Technical specs
Anima was created using a combination of custom tools and software. Both the visuals and sound are generated in real-time and respond to a Kinect tracking system that analyse presence and movement in its surroundings.

The visuals are generated through a custom software written in openframeworks and OpenlGL that outputs a spherical distorted texture which is projected from the inside using a ultra wide lens into a PufferSphere 360º display. The audio of the piece is based on a custom Max/Msp patch that runs on Ableton Live, sounds are captured, triggered, amplified and captured again in arbitrary time intervals, as an offset feedback loop, resulting in a sonic landscape of mixed past and present audio layers from the audience and the surrounding space.