I definitely find relatability in all three propositions, but I would pick the second as the most aligned with my goals. To simplify, I understood each proposition to focus on one part of the work– 1. the choices made in during the experience, 2. the goal/ending, 3. the mechanics. For the first, I’m not that focused on viewer agency and have yet to create work with real choices.  I have been interested in employing unusual mechanics in my work and therefore can relate to the third, but I believe the goal of the viewer (and piece) is the most important part of my art. While for me novel mechanics can sometimes be a very useful means to an end, I believe the underlying message of my work is best perceived through the viewer’s objective and therefore engagement with the experience.


Graffiti Nature – teamLab

Graffiti Nature is an exhibition in teamLab’s Borderless Museum. After coloring in either an animal or flower outline with crayons, your drawing will be scanned in and then projected onto the floor. Your creature comes alive and can walk around, but people can also step on it and eventually kill it.

teamLab is a Tokyo-based company of ~600 people (though the technical department is much smaller). One interactive team member takes on the bulk of the work per project (and coordinates with other departments). The projects are made predominantly in Unity, and are created over the course of a few months.

^ My creature!

^ Strangers, both adults and kids, intentionally stepped on my creature ;-;

I really enjoy how the project transforms the common coloring book experience, giving both kids and adults the chance to bring their drawings to life (with no shame to those bad at drawing). I was however quite surprised by the darker side of this project and a few other teamLab works (you can burn little people in another kids’ project, and the animals covered in flowers in the hallways will die if you remove all the flowers on them). Creating death complicates an otherwise utopic world and pushes it more towards reality, but part of me wishes there was more consequence to the virtual murder of my baby creature.