The parks of the San Isidro district are popular respites from city life. The local government was looking for a way to extend the hours of the parks and to create safe nighttime destinations where citizens could engage and socialize. They commissioned lighting designer Claudia Paz to come up with a unique solution to achieve their goal. Paz is well known for her permanent interactive installations in public spaces that combine light and sound and provide a truly immersive experience for people of all ages.
By enhancing urban space with interactivity, Paz gives the public a new way to express themselves that is almost magical. “The goal of Pixel Flow is to have particles of light gently encompass participants and immerse them in an audiovisual landscape in which even the slightest movement generates light and sound across the space,” says Paz.
Pixel Flow is a mobile installation that moves throughout the parks in the city. The installation is placed in a wide, open area of the park and is a wall-like structure consisting of metal poles of various heights that are distributed radially around a circulator platform. Paz integrated nodes of Color Kinetics iColor Flex MX gen2 spaced 10 cm apart to give the perception of pixels floating in space. The way the pixels are distributed not only creates a wall of pixels on the interior, but also creates a wall of pixels on the exterior that mimics what is happening inside. No matter if you are a participant or passer-by, you can become part of the experience.
Paz designed the structure to encourage people to “extend their arms and feel the freedom to express themselves” while an organic flow of light wraps around them and invites them to become part of the installation. Every movement or "gesture" of the body can trigger a light pattern and a custom sound. Four speakers are positioned behind the structure to generate the feeling of surround sound. A Kinect camera is used to track the specific movements of the user. These movements act as the input to stimulate the light changes across the structure.
The installation has 10 different scenes to discover “each one different from the next” that are meant to engage and surprise both participants and spectators. Frozen invites little ones to freeze light particles that eventually change to pink sand. With Light Paint, visitors are treated to the sound of birds singing as they use an imaginary magic wand to ‘paint’ across the installation.
Young people enjoy DJ where they create a track based on the combination of five base sounds that are triggered by the movement of their hands across different parts of the installation.
“We aim to create permanent interactive installations in public spaces, because we believe these will bring life to these spaces by generating social participation and creating safer places to gather with family and friends,” says Paz.