Interference Pool [2014]

Interactive audiovisual installation. Plywood, elastic cord, video projectors, video cameras, sound system, computer, custom software. Sound composition and programming by Peter Segerstrom.

Interference Pool is an interactive installation that aesthetically and conceptually explores the superposition of virtual and physical space.

The work consists of two floor sculptures, 5′ x 10′ each, faced with a series of parallel elastic cord lines, spaced about an inch apart. These sculptures are illuminated by two video projectors, which output a computer generated graphic consisting of a set of white lines equal to the physical lines in the structure, both in number and configuration. With the aid of a video camera and custom software, the video projections react to a viewer’s motion: when a viewer moves, the computer determines the direction of the motion and generates a set of virtual forces that affect the lines, which curve and bend in a highly naturalistic way, as if they were being disturbed by wind or waves. In addition, a software synthesis system reacts to the movements of viewers, creating and immersive and responsive sound environment.

The intent of the work is also to contrast two very distinct aesthetics and ideas: the highly rational grid against the turbulent and organic essence of natural (albeit simulated) forces. The title of the installation makes reference to the optical effect that arises when these two elements interact: when the projection and the physical structure are superimposed, an “interference pattern” (also known as a moiré pattern) is created. The appearance of this interference is highly organic, yet its existence is fully dependent on the rigid grid that it is projected on.

The work was first exhibited at the Muskegon Museum of Art, in Muskegon, MI, 2014. Many thanks to the Museum and its staff for helping us create this installation.

The sound was composed and programmed by Peter Segerstrom.