Conceived by Japanese art collective TeamLab for the NGV Triennial, Moving Creates Vortices and Vortices Create Movement straddles the ever-bending boundaries between art, technology and experience, sucking visitors in a striking interactive installation.
Visitors walk on digitally-manipulated water, creating moving light patterns on the floor. When a person moves, a force is applied in that direction. As a result a flow occurs. When a fast flow occurs a rotation phenomenon is produced due to the difference in the flow velocity around it, creating a vortex.
Flow in the artwork is expressed as a continuum of numerous particles and the interaction between the particles is calculated. Lines are drawn according to the trails of the particles. The cumulation of lines that represent the work are then “flattened” in line with what teamLab considers to be ultrasubjective space.
The faster the person moves, the stronger the force is applied in that direction. If a person is not moving or there are no more people, no flow will occur and nothing will be present in the space. Works are born and continue to transform under the influence of people’s movement.
In the ocean, complicated terrain such as an island produces flow velocity difference and a vortex is generated. Vortices swirl up the carcasses of organisms sunk to the bottom of the ocean, producing nutritious seawater. This becomes a source of nutrition for plankton to grow and nourishes the sea life. Vortices therefore contribute to enriching the ocean.
This installation centers on humanity’s ability to indelibly imprint on natural environments, and in turn, nature’s affect on us. ‘Through their own movement, visitors realise that seemingly unrelated things affect the world in an uncontrollable way,’ explains TeamLab. With every step, rippling light waves cascade, circling outwards. ‘We want to create an experience where people’s various behaviours create diverse flow velocity, generating huge vortices – whether you intended to do so or not.’
all images © teamLab, courtesy Ikkan Art Gallery, Martin Browne Contemporary and Pace Gallery