La Maschera dell’Anima [2012]

In a few words

Interactive installation for an exposition held during a theater festival.

Context

La Maschera dell’Anima is an interactive installation specifically thought for a theater festival held in Turin. The theme of the installation is that of theater and fairy tales, and it aimed to guide visitors in the transition from everyday life towards theater and fantasy.¬†La Maschera dell’Anima was born as collaboration with Victor Zappi and Federico Gaggero. The installation welcomed the public and visitors of the festival along an aisle, which led to the courtyard where the festival took place (Arena San Filippo, Turin).

The Installation

Exploiting the structure of the aisle, the audio/visual installation guided visitors in their path from the real world towards the fictional world of theaters, actors and fantasy. As each visitor walked along the aisle, a fictional character appeared on a curtain which covered the entrance to the courtyard, thanks to a projector. These puppets mimicked the visitors movements, engaging them in an impersonification game. Simple and stylized at first, characters gained shape and detail as the visitors moved towards the curtain, finally merging with their own mask (“maschera”) and entering the atmosphere of theater.¬†Puppets appearance was inspired by that of recurring characters in theater and fairy tales. For each puppet, a layered soundtrack was created, which grew in complexity as the puppet gained detail.

How does this work

The installation uses 2D avatars defined by different layers, which grow from sticky, simple bodies, to the detailed and recognizable aspect of the complete characters. A Kinect sensor is used to detect the presence of visitors, and to track their distance from the curtain. Data from the sensor is streamed in real time to a Processing sketch, which combines the 2D avatars layers. Processing also updates the mascheras soundtrack via OSC messages sent to a Max4Live patch running in Ableton Live, which act as the real time audio engine of the installation.

Video teaser and pictures

 

dario mazzanti, 2021

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