Shangri-La virus @ Glastonbury 2011

We survived Glastonbury 2011 and brought our interactive art to thousands of late night punters in the Shangri-La zone – a Blade Runner inspired village of sex, drugs and drum and bass.

Animacules swarmed across the Slumbarave Metropolis Hotel which served as some sort of decontamination unit for the Shangri-La narrative.

We were given an interactive space in the tunnels and tested our latest Kinect installations on a continuous stream of revellers. The pieces that worked best were the ones where several people could interact at once using their silhouette to bounce around our mutated viral constructions.

As the DJs played through the night people danced away with the ‘antibody’ made from our body protuberances. Whenever we sat behind the back projection screen it was great fun to watch the variety of interactions and calls of delight and disgust. Mainly disgust.

Here’s a close up of what people had to contend with.

We also created a large-scale and small-scale version using the same graphics and Kinect interface. The large-scale version worked especially well with people floating (and attempting to steer) their way across a vast green mutated cosmos.

The small version (where the silhouettes were much larger than the body parts) was less interesting and people immediately treated it as a game, flapping their arms to keep the bits off the ground. Although the interaction here was more furious it was also more obvious – as every other Kinect game currently uses this style of batting shit around. We need to avoid the Kinect signature as we develop more work.

We even had a chance to test out some maggot Kinect crossbreeds, these are probably more suited for a calmer audience.

All in all we had a great time and learnt a lot about where we need to take these ideas in the future. We even managed to see a couple of bands. Thanks to James Waudby, Kevin and Lawrence of Astral Design Ltd for getting us on board. We’re looking forward to working with them again, developing large-scale interactive installations.

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