Light­room is an inter­ac­ti­ve light/sound instal­la­ti­on. 64 Lights are pla­ced in a squa­re grid on a floor fil­led with whi­te shin­gle. The room is total­ly dar­kened when the visi­tor enters. By wal­king in bet­ween the lights, the visi­tor trig­gers the lights and influ­en­ces the beha­vi­our of the instal­la­ti­on; the room beco­mes ‘fil­led’ with fluid-like waves of light and sound.


Inspi­ra­ti­on for this pro­ject comes from the dif­fe­rent con­cepts of ‘see­ing’ that are devel­o­ped throug­hout his­to­ry. In anti­qui­ty, see­ing is a huma­ne acti­vi­ty, a move­ment of the eye towards the world. The eye was a cand­le that trans­mit­ted a ‘soft radi­a­ting light’, that ligh­ted the world. In the 17th cen­tu­ry, Des­car­tes and others made the eye an inhu­man, phy­si­cal ‘instru­ment’, a sen­sor for light, inde­pen­dent of what it per­cei­ved. This idea is still very influ­en­ti­al in modern sci­en­ce. In recent phi­lo­sop­hy the­se sepa­ra­te views are being cri­ti­ci­zed howe­ver, and more com­pre­hen­si­ve and nuan­ced ide­as are devel­o­ped that try to form a sym­bio­sis of the obser­ver and what is being observed.


The­se ide­as form the basis of the pro­ject Light­room; in order to be able to expe­rien­ce the room he is in, the spec­ta­tor has to be acti­ve. If he’s not, he will not expe­rien­ce any­thing. The room expo­ses itself, depen­ding on the acti­vi­ty of the visi­tor, and beco­mes ‘sen­si­ti­ve’.


In this arti­cle I explain a bit more about the video-based moti­on trac­king sys­tem i devel­o­ped to make this pro­ject tech­ni­cally work.




Inter­ac­ti­ve Light / Sound installation


EYE Film­mu­se­um, Amsterdam


Exhi­bi­ti­on ‘4D’, cura­ted by Joost Rekveld