Developed at the University of Virginia in September 2017, Phase 3 is ii’s first public environment, a collective experiment combining live streaming media, responsive visual and musical systems, virtual realities, physical interfaces, and manipulative media.
Phase III is a play for 9 interface modules installed in a circle in the middle of a dark room, each with a distinct sculptural, sonic, and visual identity — characters.
Virtual Reality Pod ⑧ was a large organically-shaped cone suspended from the ceiling. Guests could adjust the height to place their head inside it. A virtual reality headset inside the pod offered a 360-degree perspective on a dance performance, pre-recorded in the same space but at a different time. All audible sound made in the pod was added to the ambient soundscape permeating the space after a short delay.
Suspended Street Lamp ⑦ housed a screen projecting aerial footage captured from above the theatre. By turning the dial hanging from the post, the audience controlled the aerial footage, zooming in and out of the birds-eye view of the building. The dial also alters the the soundscape in the room.
Spinning Table ⑤ was a chaotic turntable on which guests created moving animations using a collection of found objects, including a mirror, lenses, lights, and cameras. The live feed is projected on translucent screens hanging on the other end of the room ⑨. The podium resembled a strange conflation of organic materials and traditional interface elements, an animated control panel.
Interactive Objects ④ These bouncy, playful objects were autonomous and generated auditory and visual outputs upon physical contact (they sensed motion using vibration switches). They were hung from the ceiling using elastic cables at different heights and in close proximity to each other and could (somewhat dangerously) be flung clear across the space.
Wire Portal ③ Long piano wires connected an upside-down drum to the floor. Plucking and bowing the strings illuminated the drum and the sound of the strings was processed and echoed from the other end of the room, affecting the overall soundscape of the space.
Network of Tubes ⑥ was tangled and suspended from the ceiling, illuminated by a red spot light and slowly breathing (driven by motors). Pulling the plastic tubes triggered module ② across the circle.
Electro-Mechanical Tombstone ② was constructed using discarded motors and actuators that were sequenced with an arduino microcontroller. This module appeared dormant for stretches until someone intentionally or accidentally moved the tubes ⑥ across the room.
Glowing Heads ⑫ Projection-mapped glowing patterns (stripes, ramps, etc.) illuminated five rows of foam mannequin heads, each altered with a different sculptural mask, obfuscating their identities.
Forest of Strings ① filled the entire back corner, acting both as a screen and an environment for exploration. The area was surveilled by an overhead camera and the live footage was projected onto a translucent screen across the room. The string network was the only non-responsive area in the installation space even though it appeared to many to control some audio/visual aspects in the room.