ANIMA is an interactive installation that investigates the nature of communication. This 3-dimensional sphere poses as an intelligent and emotional entity. It communicates by interpreting body movement and sound and portrays its character by reacting to the observant with an array of audiovisual expressions. Through this behavioural process the installation creates the illusion of being sensory. Because of its inherently different nature, this abstract form challenges our premise for communication. This entity acts as a metaphor for human-to-human relations, as it creates a playful environment for us to investigate uncomfortable questions about communication amongst ourselves.
The work challenges the observant to think about how they relate to the world, and the people around them – especially when something presents as alien to their person or cultural environment. It encourages questions like: How do we communicate with the world around us? How do we give meaning to interaction? Is this an internal or external response? How do we relate to somebody/something different from ourselves? What does it mean to have contact? When do we perceive something has a soul?
The installation consists of a 2 meter diameter sphere, projected from the inside using a single projector. This is made possible by the use of a hemispherical lens. By using Kinect sensors and microphones the entity senses the activity of people around it, and reacts with its own emotional state by changing spectrum and the speed of motion of the digital fluid emulation (in C++). The sound, coming from all directions, is generated by granular re-synthesis (in MAX) of falling water droplets, and modulates in accordance with the color spectrum of the projection.