Johanna McAllister – Looking Outwards – 1

In Berlin, a Facebook event’s tales of an interactive light sculpture display led my sisters and I to the SPEKTRUM Art and Science Community. Imagine a German bartender leading you through a dark passageway to a door with smoke seeping through the cracks. Behind the door:

Jasmine gazes through sculpture.
Sister Jasmine

Touch the beams, and they playfully retreat at your fingertips. Three years ago, Jayson Haebich posted a video of his work in progress:

Since he was building off of Xbox’s already existing technology, Haebich must have been inspired by the game’s interactivity. According to Haebich, he created a software by combining C++, OpenFrameworks, and the video game’s 3D tracking device.

Johanna waves hands through light sculpture.
Me

Haebich has shown us the future. Taking Xbox’s bridge between real and virtual worlds to an extreme, viewers are fully immersed, touching what is and isn’t two inches in front of them. I can only criticize that this piece shows off what his software can do more than it acts as meaningful art. However, seeing the finished product in person is still breathtaking.

Sophie moves streams of light with her hand.
Sister Sophie

My sisters and I were not facing a screen, nor looking through special goggles. We stood in the darkness, surrounded by smoke and subtle sound effects, and we played with friendly light.