Étudiants - Archives des années précédentes - 2007/08 - 3° année (2007/8) - Stefan Schwabe -

Episureo, Ars Electronica 2008

HolmesPlace Health Club, Linz/ Austria

idea, concept, realisation :

Sebastian Neitsch & Stefan Schwabe

sound :

Fabien Artal

mentoring :

Christa Sommerer, Laurent mignonneau, Kunstuniversität Linz/ Austria

Douglas Edric Stanley, Ecole supérieure d’art d’Aix-en-Provence/ France

Burg Giebichenstein Hochschule für Kunst und Design Halle/ Germany

The installation

Episureo at Ars Electronica 08 from klein kariert on Vimeo.

The idea

The paths we choose to follow each day, to go to work, to move around in
our own homes or even the ways we move during our free-time are mostly pre-defined by architecture, human crowds or subconsciously learned behaviours. During all this, the personal space we keep around ourselves depends on the place we are at and the people surrounding us. We all need privacy but also depend on social relationships and so-for on close contacts to other humans. Our aim is to show this never-ending, pulsing conflict and the trails the participants leave in space and time.

The perfect place

To realize this within an interactive installation, we had to find a place where the participants would stay for quite a while and where they would have to move consciously but also relaxed. We wanted the people to naturally communicate to each other so that groups would appear and we needed them to move in a quite large radius. A swimming pool is almost perfect for this. It is like a stage you step on and just by its architectural form, it already pre-defines paths the swimmers usually follow and with which we as authors can play. On top of that the swimming and the water might relax the visitors so that they have the time and mind to concentrate on the installation. This was never been
done before, so not only the visualisation of movement and the dynamics of human crowds where our main topics now, but also the difficult task to convert a public swimming pool into a huge interface.

The realization

The picture on the ceiling responds via motion-tracking to the swimmers in the
water. Depending on their movements, their speeds and their distances to each
other, the visualisation changes and with the help of an underwater oudspeaker
variant sounds are generated. Abstract graphics slowly appear and get more and
more complex after time, showing trails, movements and the group dynamics in the pool. To picture the whole movement and not only the one of each single swimmer, sometimes a kind of current appears that influences the whole visualisation.

The set-up

Form finding and scripting

ESAAix - École supérieure d’art d’Aix-en-Provence - http://www.ecole-art-aix.fr