TardiSpaces @Orbit Light Festival 2016

Desta Matla and I have set up and hosted our installation “TardiSpaces” from the 16th of December until the 18th on Orbit Light Festival 2016.

Experience the aesthetic world of micro-animals in real time
At first sight, nothing interesting seems to be going on inside tiny spaces such as water drops and moss. In TardiSpaces you can visually and sonically experience the aesthetic world of such tiny spaces in real time. We hacked a simple webcam to function as a microscope, so the viewer can emerge in live images of the tiny space. Different kinds of micro-organisms will be swimming by, such as amoebas and tardigrades. Little do these moving creatures know that they are live music performers…

Here’s an atmospheric impression of the installation at Orbit Light Festival 2016:

Before setting up we thought about the setup of the installation and played around a bit with different forms of display. A small corner of the Synagoge was assigned to our installation. So with that in mind, we first thought about a big projection of the live webcam microscope images. But once we tried that, we realised that it looked really bad. The resolution of the webcam is low, so the bigger it’s presented, the more focus will lie on the bad resolution. Then we found several old small computer screens lying around at the Frank Mohr Institute. Using several small computer screens looked way better than the big projection.

Our plan was to take two speakers with us. But once we arrived at the spot of the installation and started setting up, we realised that it was a very noisy place. A lot of installations around us had music and sound involved. So we changed plans and used headphones for each screen.

We learned a lot from the experience on the festival. Witnessing the interaction of the installation with the visitors helped us to see what we can improve for future showcasing. For example, a lot of people walked to our installation, watched the screen, listened to the sound, but couldn’t figure out what they were looking at. We really had to explain. The setup of the microscope was a bit hidden and not clearly presented.

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