We Are All Made of Light (2019) is an immersive art installation about our interconnectedness. The installation utilizes interactive light, spatial sound and artificial intelligence (AI) to create audiovisual trails of every person’s presence in the exhibiting space, meshing it with trails of other visitors from the past, present, and connecting them with future visitors. The natural beauty of the universe is evoked to reveal connections between us and the rest of the world that often stay hidden in plain sight. As visitors move through the galaxy of stars, the light is extruded in their shape, leaving light trails of their presence across the starscape. Once visitors leave, their trails of light remain in the constellation and are added to the collection of trails that others have left behind. With every new visit, the number of light trails increases and reflects the growing history of the space. Each new person visiting the space is immersed in a starscape filled with light that marks the presence of everybody who was part of the piece. Over time, the exhibiting space becomes an archive of people’s presence and evidence of how all of us are connected to others, past and present. Such experience raises awareness among visitors about the traces their presence leaves in the space and time that they inhabit. It asks each visitor to consider what does being immersed in this mesh of trails lends us in the understanding of each other and our collective legacy?
The technological system of We Are All Made of Light is driven by AI was developed in collaboration between the artist Maja Petric and computer scientist, Mihai Jalobeanu. The system recognizes people in space, detects their bodies, records their silhouettes and projects them back into space in the shape of stars. The system is programmed to continuously change the look and feel of people’s silhouettes based on the rest of the content and activities in space. It algorithmically impacts the evolution of the narrative so that the experience is ever-changing. Each silhouette is set to reappear at later times to connect with real-time people in the space. The choice, position and time of the projected silhouettes changes based on the detected behavior of people in space. These interactive technologies provide a new set of tools for shaping the experience of interconnectedness that would not be possible otherwise. It leads to an opportunity to create poetic connections with people who passed through the piece at different times and prompts questions about how much we are aware of the mark we leave behind, and the trails left by our fellow humans. Can we see how we alike shape our environments and the memory of the places we inhabit?
Artist: Maja Petric
AI: Mihai Jalobeanu
Sound: Marcin Paczkowski