In March 2013, we had the chance to test an interactive visual installation for at a psytrance party at Schuppen 2 in Bremen. We developed an interactive kaleidoscope that reacted to music and transformed a camera feed captured directly from the dance floor.
Party visitors could hold things or pose in front of the camera and see their image refracted in the kaleidoscope. The interactive kaleidoscope became a canvas for the happening. Additionally we prepared a series of about 50 specifically designed textures, which could enhance the visuals, and distributed them among the people during the event.
Thanks to the camera the kaleidoscope reacted well to peripheral lighting and movement on the dancefloor. It reflected other parts of decoration and integrated itself greatly into the whole party concept. The interactive possibilities of the project were not explored to the fullest, however. This can be attributed to the camera’s location as it was positioned directly on the dance floor. In next iterations, we plan to make the camera more prominent and place it in a chillout area so that its interactive capibilities are more obvious.
We learned that we need to supply better affordances to motivate more people to experiment with our installations. The dynamic nature of the kaleidoscope and its ability to reflect the party’s atmosphere is something that worked very well and we would like to continue our experiments in this direction.