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Emergence – Installation by Cinimod for Heathrow Terminal 2

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Commissioned by Caviar House & Prunier for London Heathrow Terminal 2, “Emergence” is a new light installation by London based Cinimod studio. The installation takes on a playful relevance to Caviar House, re-imagining the movement of a school of fish moving underwater.

It is a sculptural expression of the fascinating light patterns and shimmers that emerge across the collective bodies of fish as they move in harmony within water whilst reflecting the natural sun light.  This is physically manifested as a kinetic moment frozen in space and time, and re-animated through cutting-edge interactive digital lighting. These lighting patterns are controlled in real-time from a live physics simulation modelled on the complex movements of a school of fish within the ocean.

The structure is comprised of LED arcs spiralling thirteen metres up to the ceiling borrowing heavily from the engineered carbon fibre composites as found in the newest airplanes. It is around 8 meters wide, weighing about 1.5 tons with over 350,000 individually controllable white LEDs.

The system includes localised controllers within each of the double-side LED arcs. Each controller holds an AVI file that contains thousands of frames of pixel sequences, with up to 5 simultaneous video layers being played at a given time with arbitrary frame-rates and transformations. This means that a fluid 60 fps can be maintained in real-time to each pixel on a minuscule overall bandwidth.

Behind this bespoke hardware sits a real-time simulation software running in VVVV on a PC. A physics simulation of virtual schools of fish is calculated directly on the Nvida GPU, taking cues from a variety of environmental conditions. This simulation is then parsed through a best-fit algorithm to determine the combination of video frame numbers to display on each lighting arc.

Project Page | Cinimod

Structural Engineering: Tall Engineers
Electrical Engineering: White Wing Logic
Carbon Fibre Production: Polar Manufacturing
Main Contractor: Powells Group
Caviar House Architect: Design Square
Software Developer: Will Young / Cinimod Studio

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Posted on: 28/05/2014

Posted in: Environment, vvvv

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