15 Jan 2015

One of my first experiences with interactive media was when I was in kindergarten and I visited the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum. There was a display by the name of “Text Rain” by Camille Utterback in which you could stand beneath a shower of words.

If you held out your arms, the letters would stall on your limbs, and if you stood still long enough, you could even hold a sentence. The only catch was that none of it was real—the letters, the words, the sentences—they were all digital, but at the center of it all, I believed it was magic.

The interactive performance “Pixel” by Adrien M and Claire B instantly brought my back to my Children’s Museum days. In this piece, a series of performers dance and interact with a blackened stage filled with nothing but projected pixels. Apart, both elements would sustain interest for a little while, but together, a few colored dots and a woman with an umbrella create an entire storm.

Perhaps my favorite thing about Pixel is how seamless the actions appear. The concept of an interactive projection isn’t necessarily groundbreaking in this day and age, but framing it as a performance and having both the performers and the technology participate equally was something to evoke wonder in more than just children.


Pixel – extraits from Adrien M / Claire B on Vimeo.

After digging a little deeper, I was able to find another piece by Adrien M and Claire B that was a lot more similar to “Text Rain.”

The piece “XYZT” is a series of interactive experiences. Instead of just words, it features a technological, fun house-esque mirror, a letter Tetris game, and a tank of projected words interacting with real environments.

The diversity in this piece is one of the most striking elements for me. While the individual sections are similar, they each had a unique element that was enough to keep me interested throughout my discovery of each sub-piece.

XYZT présentation from Adrien M / Claire B on Vimeo.