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SUN – Sun’s cycle as an interactive (playful) experience

Created by artist Philip Schütte in collaboration with Random Studio, SUN is an interactive installation that turns one of nature’s most mediated phenomenas – the rising and setting of the sun – into a playful sensory experience. Using a giant bouncy ball, viewers can control the movement of the sun over a digitally sublime landscape: a hyper real vista where the sun’s cycle is recoded as a malleable event.

Interested by the way the digital is seamlessly seeping into our lives, the projects of German artist Philip Schütte use technology as a tool to look at how we are changing. While his background in psychology, photography and interactive media may not have always been linked, these diverse interests have converged to explore the many implications of living in a world where a considerable part of our daily experiences is now digitally mediated. Schütte is both seduced and unsettled by the ever evolving digital world and welcomes this conflict into his projects, which don’t judge but instead try to “trace what technology does to us”. From disrupting nature’s cycles in SUN to taking neurological autoportraits based on fMRI data, his approach is playful and forever curious, adopting a range of different processes to build bridges between us and technology that might make us aware of its effects.

The idea for SUN was born from seeing development prototypes of a computer game that uses algorithms to created infinite, unique universes. Struck by the starry-eyed possibility of discovering these familiar yet totally self-generated landscapes, Schütte began to wonder what would be an immediate way of feeling like you were in control of the sun. Project was developed in WebGL using Three.js and custom shaders, the manmade sun in the piece interacts with the atmosphere and scatters light across the digital horizon based on how you move the ball.

Random StudioPhilip Schütte