The Woods is an interactive light and shadow installation that invites the viewer to consider their physical and symbolic relationship with the forest. Viewers walk through a knee-high forest of twigs as moving LED lights automatically illuminate their path.
As the audience wanders through this artificial forest, an infrared camera tracks their bodies and moves LED lights on motorized dollies in response. The lights shift and glow, following the viewers, lighting their way, and casting shadows of the trees and visitors onto the walls and ceiling. While the audience towers above the twigs on the ground, the branching shadows loom overhead.
In addition to lighting, a responsive soundscape created by Justin Scheid fills the room and responds to the viewers movement. By combining synthesizers, samples and custom programming, The Woods creates a unique auditory experience for each viewer, enveloping them in an immersive sonic environment.
The woods have played many roles throughout history. They are conversely both a place of sustenance and abundance, but also one of danger, mystery and transformation. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that they feature so prominently in folktales, mythology and contemporary popular culture. In an era of increasing urbanization, how do we reconcile our diminishing physical relationship to the forest with our symbolic one? How do the woods from our personal histories project themselves onto the present?
The Woods provides a contemplative space for exploration and reflection, for escape and wonder and for getting reacquainted with the deep dark forest.