At Maker Monday Birmingham, a monthly event that brings creatives, artists and technologist together to develop ideas through open innovation and collaboration, I proposed the production of a Living Archive as part of to the JHB Submission call (curated by Jo Gane). Supported by an interdisciplinary team of collaborators, I have realized the interactive art installation The Phantom of JHB’s Sculpture #LivingArchive.

The work make the missing sculpture of Julian Henry Beck come to life through visitor interaction. We involve visitors in a playful narrative experience that empowers them as a maker of the sculpture. In 1958, Yves Klein made the Anthropométries using naked female models covered in blue paint and dragged across or laid upon canvases to make the image, using the models as “living brushes” anthropométries. Inspired by this practice, and by an original wood fragment of Julian Henry Beck which recalls the shape of a human hand, I have been using this part of the body as a “living 3D tool”. X,Y,Z coordinates of each human fingertips are connected with X,Y,Z coordinates of one 3D wood finger, in order to manipulate its “scaling” and “rotation”. This interactive visual experimentation is leading us in the creation of amazing and ever seen 3D objects, I would dare to say, “primitive”. The result is that each sculpture is unique and unrepeatable, because the quality of the gesture of every visitor is different and singular. Furthermore, the work has the form of a digital holographic illusion and a 3D interactive visualization, exhibited in a showcase. This is achieved using the Pepper’s Ghost projection technique, combined with motion capture technology to enable visitors to interact with the artwork.

In the near future the project will be developed in order to interactive manipulate texture, lights, colours and apply others 3D modelling and animation techniques, through human body performance.

The Phantom of JHB’s Sculpture #LivingArchive art installation celebrates memory as a dynamic process that connects the private sphere with the social and public environment.

The work is exhibited at BOM gallery from 10.09.15 to 03.10.15 in Birmingham (UK)


Supported by Maker Monday Birmingham

Concept Giada Totaro
Interaction Design and Environment Building                                                                                                                                                                               Giada Totaro, Balandino Di Donato
Gregory Hough, Simon Baldin
3D Design Linlu Li


Hardware: MacBook Pro – Arduino – Leap Motion – Pepper’s Ghost projection – Pocket video projector                                   Software: Maya – Pure Data Extended – Processing

Images at BOM Open Code Night and JHB exhibition