The Disinhibitor (Memories Can’t Wait)

Memories Can't Wait, preview
Click to enlarge

Using The Disinhibitor, an apparatus I invented as part my MA research into Stereo 3D
at Ravensbourne College, Memories Can’t Wait is a truly immersive installation – a lucid
out-of-body experience that playfully challenges our notions of the space we inhabit.

Wearing custom 3D glasses, visitors are led into a large dark room where a simple, but carefully thought-out arrangement of lasers and projectors, working with a multi-channel soundscape, create a virtual environment in which they appear to float between moving planes of stars that stretch out to infinity.

 Memories dance 820 video

Video (2 minutes)

Video (1 minute) with a different selection of shots.

A taste of the audience’s reaction – which often starts as excitement, followed
by a more meditative period – can be heard here: Video (1 minute)

This proved very popular and was staged several times at Ravensbourne, each time
with the settings tweaked to create a different immersive experience:

Memories Can't wait
10. Memories Can't Wait
17. 'A captivated visitor' 2
10. Memories Can't Wait
16. The 'Tunnel'
. .  Click any image to enlarge.

If you have 3D glasses handy you can get a hint of the effect with some of the
images – click to enlarge, and try tilting your head.
But it’s only a hint…

13. Memories Can't Wait
14. The floor
16. The 'Tunnel'
Karel Bata - Immersive Environments
Visitors to Memories Can't Wait
17. 'A captivated visitor' 2
Click any image to enlarge

Shoreditch Digital
The Disinhibitor has been staged several times since. It became The nDimensional Basement at Shoreditch Digital Festival 2015. This was a much smaller space, creating a more intimate environment. Without a doubt it was the most popular exhibit.

Memories Shoreditch lone girl Memories Shoreditch Man hand
Memories Shoreditch Viral + 2
Memories Shoreditch 2 girls

– Click any image to enlarge –

The Disinhibitor was seen again at Lumen Gallery’s ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ in London on December 7 2015.


The Disinhibitor (Lamentations)
To be premiered in London, early 2018.

Lamentations uses a motion detection system linked to custom software that interprets participants’ movements and translates them into music built from the harmonies in Thomas Tallis’ 16th Century choral composition Lamentations. The aim is to create an immersive environment rich with spritual resonances.

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Note to arts curators:
Though The Disinhibitor requires some very specific components, a few of which may need to be hired in, in the right environment it is quick to set up – less than a day.
For best effect it needs a large totally blacked out room with a plain gray floor. Obviously few places are exactly like that. The video shows it done in a TV studio with black drapes. At Shoreditch Digital I laid a large sheet of translucent gray plastic on the floor.
There are five principal modes of viewing gained by a choice of two types of 3D glasses (more in the pipeline!) and the two sources of projection – the lasers and the stars, which can be selected individually or combined. Some spaces incline more to one effect than others.
The effect of floating in space diminishes as the number of people in the room increases – they, and their shadows, will block the view of the floor.
Some people – about 1% – hate it and get vertigo immediately. Well, you can’t please everyone…
This all takes place in a darkened space with lasers (though low-powered and safe) so there needs to be a responsible person in the room. I like to take advantage of this by having an ‘usher’ that leads people in and gives the event a theatrical edge.
I would love to stage this in a really huge dark space…

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