@Speculum Artium 2021
Private Garden is an interactive installation which projects generated and processed garden visuals onto the surface of a bed. Visitors can hop onto the bed and interact with the visual projection and ambient sound using their body movements, thus having an intimate and mimicry experience of wandering and resting in one’s private garden. In 2020, the pandemic has greatly changed our daily life. While the artist spent more and more time at home, and therefore in bed, she noticed that it wasn’t happening to her alone, but rather to a noticeably rising number of people. The bed has become an intimate and versatile place to do a lot of things, including getting rest and recovering from the mental stress caused by the chaotic situation. Therefore, she found the resemblance between bed and garden in the aspect of spiritual healing and formed the idea of Private Garden.
During preparation, an image database of classical Chinese gardens is constructed. With this database, a generative neural network is trained based on the state-of-the-art StyleGan2-ADA framework from Nvidia. Images of artificial gardens can be generated, on which further visual effects are applied using OpenFrameworks.
During the exhibition of the installation, the resulting images are projected onto a white bed. The visitor can climb onto the bed and interact with the projection by moving his/her body. The pose of the visitor will be detected by open-source machine vision frameworks (OpenPose) using a camera. The detected pose serves as the input data to the generative algorithm and alters the projection and the ambient sound environment, which forms an interactive experience for the visitor.
When the visitor moves their body a lot on the bed, the garden images will turn more fragmented and change rapidly into another shape or scene, as if the visitor is exploring the garden and wants to see more. On the contrary, when the visitor stays calm and still on the bed, the changing visual will slow down on the current scene and show more detail, just as if the visitor finds a place in the garden that he/she likes and decides to take a closer look and enjoy this moment. Additionally, the ambient sound also be adjusted accordingly to enhance the experience.
The goal of the project is to create an immersive yet intimate environment, in which visitors can stretch their bodies freely and have a relaxing experience interacting with the ever-changing artificial garden.