Crystal Universe: Digital Maze Invites You to Immerse Yourself in Light

A kaleidoscopic space filled with reflected and refracted light in all shades of the rainbow makes you feel like you’ve somehow immersed yourself inside a crystal at the DMMPLANETS exhibition in Odaiba, Tokyo. Dreamed up by the art collective teamLab, ‘Wander through the Crystal Universe’ is one of three major interactive installations in place through the end of August for the inaugural show. The work uses accumulated light points to create a sculptural body, “similar to the way distinct dots of color form an image in a pointillist painting.”

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As you walk through the three-dimensional light space, your movement affects the light particles, creating changes in the installation. Each person’s action or change affects the way everyone present experiences the space. The lights are constantly moving and shimmering, going dark to mimic the effect of floating in space and then shifting into new color palettes. Visitors can further interact with the exhibit using their smartphones, selecting certain elements and enhancing them.

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“In Crystal Universe, the particles of light are digitally controlled, and change based on the viewer’s interactivity with the work. The result is an installation consisting of an accumulation of lights, forming a sculpture that expresses the universe.”


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Equally enchanting is ‘Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and People – Infinity.’ In this case, visitors are walking into a pool of water, influencing the movement of projected koi.

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“When the fish collide with people they turn into flowers and scatter. The trajectory of the koi is determined by the presence of people and these trajectories trace lines on the surface of the water. The work is rendered in real time by a computer program, it is neither a pre-recorded animation nor on loop. The interaction between the viewer and the installation causes continuous change in the artwork. Previous visual states can never be replicated, and will never reoccur.”