Client: Broward County Arts
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States
Completion date: 2022
Artwork Concept and Production
States of Matter reimagines the physical world as a virtual experience. Inspired by emerging research in quantum physics, the immersive video and sound environment makes visible the complex phenomena of matter through a poetic imagining of newly discovered states that exist beyond what we can perceive.
Our understanding of matter has evolved from the four states that we observe in everyday life: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. We now know that there are intermediate states that don’t practice the same rules and exist beyond what we can perceive. Some of these exotic states have never been seen. New states are being discovered all the time.
States of Matter envelops you within a digital universe constructed of simulations based on a physics-based logic of observable and unobservable states of matter. The experience is immersive and responsive, a seamless connection of space, viewer and content.
States of Matter was commissioned by Broward Arts for IGNITE, its annual Light and Art Experience in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The project was shown at MAD Arts.
We envisioned States of Matter as a multi sensory journey in which the viewer would be transported into a world of quarks, data and subatomic particles. To make the experience successful, we needed to create a 3D sensory immersive environment within an isolated space that was void of distractions and ambient sound. The goal was to deconstruct the limits of the senses and enfold the viewer within a slowly evolving universe in which they could explore a world of the imagined and the unknowable.
Technologically, the artwork was generated through a physics-based logic using gravity, wind, tension, combustion and particle and fluid dynamics. Using the latest advances in new media, we created custom algorithms to produce simulations based on observable and unobservable states of matter. The decision was made early on to use 360 projection mapping and with MAD Arts we collaborated on the design of a freestanding room with mirrored surfaces on floor and ceiling to extend the projection environment.
Sound was critical to the creation of an immersive experience. The digitally constructed audio track was conceived in a 3 dimensional sound structure made up of layers that weave together. The first layer is ephemeral - as if the viewer is suspended in the void. The second layer is constructed of individual unique sounds inspired by the movement of the visuals. The third layer is the glue that creates smooth transitions.
Together, the visual and sound environment gives expression to the thought revolution that has been happening in physics and evokes the beauty and complexity of phenomena fundamental to our physical world.