Tomorrow in Montreal, audience members at the IX Symposium will see one of Jupiter’s moons appear inside a 60-foot dome. But this isn’t something you can find in a telescope – it’s a trippy virtual environment with stark geometric shapes and classical forms.
Ganymede is an immersive installation premiering tomorrow at IX 2015, an international conference based in Montreal, where it will be available for the next three weeks. Created by the artists and programmers at the Nature Graphique collective, it’s a major update to a formerly untitled Leap Motion art experiment that first appeared in 2013:
“Ganymede is a really inspiring theme to work on, in which science, mythology and art converge,” says Mourad Bennacer, the sound designer on the project.
“It’s one of the moons of Jupiter, the biggest in the solar system, and has been named after a Trojan prince in Greek mythology. The experience we created allows you to explore an abstract and surrealist vision of the Galilean moon – a non-Euclidian environment populated by platonic solids and classical architectural elements.”
Ganymede combines the Leap Motion Controller and a turntable as control devices to let people reshape objects, space, and sounds. Using simple hand movements, audience members are able to navigate, move objects, and trigger visual and audio effects.
“In immersive installations, the experience relies heavily on the fact that you become part of the scenography,” says Mourad. “In our installation, you can use the Leap Motion Controller to navigate, animate apparently static volumes, and then use them to reshape the space around you. To a giant scale.
“The way Leap Motion handles gesture sharpens the point of view, and opens up more possibilities for exploration and interaction.”
The team already has a lot more planned for the project, especially with the sheer scale of the SATosphere – the immersive dome where the installation lives. The room features a 360-degree spherical projection screen that’s 18 meters (60 feet) in diameter, with 8 video projectors and 157 speakers.
“Several upgrades to Ganymede are on their way, including more development on the Leap Motion platform to improve the controls, feeling of gravity, and object transformations. We’ve already added a turntable as a controller and we’re now thinking about implementing a third controller to make it a more collaborative experience.”
Credits for Ganymede: Aurélien Lafargue (creative director), Mourad Bennacer (sound designer), Pierre Gufflet (creative coding), and Julien Brisson (3D graphism)
Ganymede will be on display for the next three weeks at the Society for Arts and Technology in Montreal.