An interactive sunrise in collaboration with Philip Schuette
This interactive installation was made in collaboration with our Creative Lead and artist Philip Schuette and turns one of nature’s most mediated phenomena– 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. Bridging the digital and the physical, SUN uses technology to reflect on how it’s shaping the way we experience the world.
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. One of the most basic and universal human experiences, and also the most widely photographed, placed in your hands in the shape of a giant bouncy ball.
Developed in WebGL using the 3D framework Three.js and custom shaders, the manmade sun in the piece interacts with the atmosphere and scatters light across the crisp, digital horizon based on how you move the ball. SUN is projected on a big screen, summoning both the spectacular feeling of the sun whilst revelling in its own artificiality. Shifting across digital and physical space, the addictive experience of playing somewhere in-between the two triggers a split-second of awe when you realise what is in your power.