Visual Liquidizer or Virtual Merge

Tatsuo Unemi and Daniel Bisig
August–December 2014

This is a visual interactive installation utilizing two cameras and one projector connected to one personal computer. The visual output is projected on the rear projection screen visible from both front and rear sides.

In a science fiction entitled Wetware by Rudy Rucker, an imaginary drug named Merge takes an important role. It relaxes connections among protein molecules, then the taker's body becomes liquidized, but it recovers back some minutes later. In this novel, a couple of lovers took it together to mix their bodies and felt tripping.

Wetware is a coined word in the research of Artificial Life that is also pursuing computational models of complex collective behaviours of organisms. There are two well known algorithms named BOIDS for birds and fish and ANTS for ants and termites. This artwork will realize a virtual Merge using detection of visitors' images by ANTS and generation of scattering images by BOIDS. The reason why we employed these methods rather than ordinary physical simulation such as particles and mesh is because we'd like to show the liquid as if it's living.

When two visitors take seats at the opposite sides of the screen each other, the images of their bodies start scattering and mixing some seconds later. Viewing from the each side, the figure of him/herself is displayed as in a mirror and the partner's figure is visible in normal. Dynamic images rendered by a visualization technique continues two or three minutes, then it gradually comes back to the normal figures. The system starts waiting for new visitors again after the visitors left.

The authors are hoping people merge each other more, not only in a private relation like lovers, to change the world where disruption and violence are rampant now.

Papers ☛

Exhibition, Demonstration and Award ☛

Created on September 29, 2014. Updated on December 3, 2016.