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This Installation Allows the Creation of Fantastic Territories Using a Mobile Phone


“DMM. PLANETS" is an exhibition displayed in Japan that invites you to shape reality through your mobile phone.

Not long ago, digital reality was torn between utopia – and dreams. A fascinating world, still it was one restricted to the screen. Digital projection techniques have enabled these worlds to converge with our own. What in his own time, Michel Foucault would call heterotopias – contrary spaces in which reality is filtered – are similar to what’s happening today with such digital exhibitions. DMM.PLANETS, among other things, takes on the task of overlaying fantastic territories with our own ordinary spaces.

The Japanese collective, teamLab – who describe themselves a “Ultra-technologists” – brought together the best of their works to mount an exhibition in Tokyo in August. Four digital and illusory installations, each emphasizes the importance of the interaction of people with their own imaginations, presenting an exciting opportunity to project our fantasies into real time.

Through a series of sensors, LED lights and a sophisticated smartphone app, visitors can modify the sequence of illusions in their own way. There’s no pattern of travel, and everyone can wander from one world to another and create dimensions as their imaginations please them.

Wander through the Crystal Universe is perhaps the most memorable of the four installations. Thousands of LED lights draw a kind of graph in a null space and this allows explosions of stars to react merely to any human presence. Drawing on the water surface with lotus flowers is memorable too: a pool of water allows spectators to play with digital koi fish that color the space and respond to movements in the water.

Imagination, the exhibition seems to warn, is constantly re-claiming the world. A sort of best-case scenario, it gives us a fantastic place to project fantastic territories as visions of what will someday come to be the future. But then, isn’t imagination the vehicle par excellence to start circumnavigating these alternate realities?

Images: © teamLab Inc.

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