Plan View is a site-specific interactive installation that explores the different scales of life and consciousness. Leaning over a balcony railing, the viewer uses an infrared flashlight to reveal a virtual terrain projected far below them. The denizens of this world are "blorbs" (blob-orbs), who resemble single-celled organisms, wandering around the map, exploring its rooms and blundering into each other. As the viewer moves their light, the spotlight illuminates the virtual floor, walls, and blorbs. When the light touches a blorb, text appears above them, revealing their inner monologue. Each has a unique internal life that develops over time and changes as they encounter other characters.
Plan View presents a tension between the tiny blorbs and their semi-sophisticated thoughts. Despite being protozoic organisms, they think about high-order issues: first-world neuroses, interpersonal worries, etc. The map they explore is inspired by forms found in muscle tissue as well as medieval cities. By pairing such disparate scales at which life exists, it invites the audience to question the simplicity and complexity of living creatures and what implies thought and personality.
The infrared flashlight’s beam was tracked with a modified PS Eye Camera and OpenFrameworks. Coordinates were then fed into the Unity app to control the direction of the virtual spotlight illuminating the scene.
Plan View was created in collaboration with Trey Gilmore and Matthew Baye.