“Visual Liquidizer or Virtual Merge” presented by Unemi and Bisig

  • ©ISEA2015: 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art, Tatsuo Unemi and Daniel Bisig, Visual Liquidizer or Virtual Merge
  • Video still from YouTube


Presentation Title:

  • Visual Liquidizer or Virtual Merge



  • The authors developed an interactive audio-visual installation utilizing two cameras and one projector connected to one personal computer. The visual output is projected on the rear projection screen visible from both front and rear sides. The idea of the concept is inspired from an imaginary drug named Merge in a science fiction entitled Wetware written by Rudy Rucker1. This drug temporarily liquidizes the taker’s body, which causes a type of tripping experience by mixing bodies of a couple of lovers. When two visitors come to the opposite sides of the screen each other, the images of their bodies start scattering and mixing. The dynamic moving image rendered by a visualization technique continues one or two minutes, and then it gradually comes back to the normal figures as the final stage. The system starts waiting for new visitors again after the visitors left. These processes are realized by a combination of two types of swarm simulation developed in the researches of Artificial Life; ANT algorithm for detecting the visitors’ image, and BOIDS for generating the deformed image.
    This installation provides a virtual experience for visitors as if their bodies are liquidized and mixed. Each individual person is an entity physically separated from the others, but we sometimes feel spiritual connection with lovers, friends, family members, and so on. As closer physical contacts cause the deeper connections, it is possible to imagine that it would be more effective if we could physically mix our melted bodies with of the others. Human relation is one of the most important aspects to measure happiness of people. It is somewhat difficult but might be ideal to have as many peaceful relations as possible, rather than conflict or separation. Swarm simulation is an effective technique to provide the visitors feelings that the flowing materials would be living.
    The authors are hoping people merge each other more, not only in a private relation like lovers, but also with people from difference social backgrounds, to change the world where disruption and violence are rampant now.