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My 1st visit to ALiVE! 10/9

September 16, 2010

Last Friday, we visited ALiVE lab in the Hong Kong Science Park. I have been to the Science Park several times before but I do not know CityU School of Creative Media has launched a research laboratory there.  At ALiVE, there are a couple of immersive installations that consist of advanced technology and are capable of interacting with the audiences. As I could remember, we have tried and experienced most of the installations, such as UNMAKEABLELOVE, T_Visionarium and the CAVE. All of the work is impressive and stunning. I am going to briefly talk about two of them.

To begin with, I like UNMAKEABLELOVE a lot throughout all of the installations. It shows a group of animated naked human 3D models wandering around in a very dark room. The torches set up outside in front of the six screens allows the audiences to interactive with the installation as if they are really casting light upon those animated models. The motion, the appearance and the “character” of those figures are slightly different from one and other. After seeing them for a while, I totally understanding why Sarah said people was willing to spend hours and hours staying in front of the screens, watching. They never do the same thing! And then suddenly, in the middle of the crowd, a sex scene (quite a violence one to me) took place. I was shocked at the moment as these virtual figures were given a “human feature” like sexual wants. Furthermore, another feature of this installation which impresses me is that it mixes with the reality. I can see my dear friends Emma and Van on the screen as if they were in the same room in the virtual figures. Actually, they stood in front of the opposite screen to me. Seeing my friends waving to me in the middle of the virtual crowds onscreen did give an interesting but aqua feeling.

Another installation that impresses me is LOOK UP. Although I am not able to interact with the work, I can fully enjoy it. By lying down on the ground and watching the panoramic photos projected on the screen of a hemispherical ceiling, I can relax and focus my attention solely onto the images. I have never thought of such a way to experience an installation. If the background music could be softer, I would surely fall asleep in this warm and comfortable installation. This work can possibly be developed for further medical purpose. Also, I like the entrance (exit) a lot! I feel like I was born once again. Really cool!

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