Luciferins – concept

Luciferins is a piece that has haunted me for years. I was enamored with a BBC special about the deep oceans and bioluminescence in plants and animals. Since watching that special back around 2000 – 2001, I’ve dreamt of making an environment that would light up when people were in proximity. I envision these strips of fiber hanging in an environment. Upon disturbing the fibers, the fibers would light up from the stimulation. Similar to how plankton light up the beach at night. Certain organisms have the light-emitting chemical luciferin, which is released as light when they go through a chemical reaction when exposed to oxygen. Some creatures use this to lure mates, predators, or as a defense mechanism.

Luciferins is inspired by these bioluminescent fish and the plethora of invisible network traffic that constantly surrounds us. Luciferins is an interactive environment filled with hanging felt structures. As viewers move, the color graphics illuminate the structures with animations that dynamically move across them in flocking color choreographies. The graphics then open a communication portal, showing traffic that is flowing across local networks. This traffic drifts across the installation space, describing different narratives. The portal opens only for a few seconds before closing again, returning the room to its normal state.

Luciferins makes our digital networks perceptible when they are often imperceptible. The infrastructure that facilitates communication largely remains hidden. Luciferins’ network becomes perceptible by movement of the body. It gives viewers a sense of the invisible activity that surrounds them–just as a swimmer would make a dwelling of sea sparkle appear by swimming through it. Luciferins seeks to not only be an experience, but to open up the conversation about control and privacy in one of our last frontiers.