Arboreal

An Interactive Group Installation 2010
Anahita Hekmat, 2010

The space of the installation is a large, dark room, measuring approximately 2153 square feet. When people enter the room, their presence triggers the appearance of projections on the ground, showing details of tree branches, swaying in the wind, shot from below.
Image fragments connect the locations of the viewers. A composite image slowly emerges as they move from one area to another. The image splinters and comes together again in many different ways in step with the audience’s interactions.

At the same time, locational data trigger the sound of someone breathing deeply.

When the vertical image of the tree is projected onto the horizontal level of the ground it becomes a kind of network, or map, produced and surveyed by the audience. 
Just as the viewers collectively create the space of the image, with the sound installation the individual breath becomes collective.

Arboreal
Group Interactive Installation, 2010
Anahita Hekmat
Le CENTQUATRE – l’établissement artistique de la ville de Paris

Photographs (below): Samuel Bianchini, Pierre Mercier, Anahita Hekmat

The Set-Up

The space of the installation is a room measuring approximately 10 x 10 meters (33 x 33 feet). The room is dark, with a round space in the middle where the space of projection is located. The circle’s diameter is approximately 5 meters (16 feet) long.

- When the first person enters the room, the sound goes on. At the same time, a first rectangular image appears. The location of this projection is randomly selected. The image shows tree branches swaying in the wind.
- The projection’s surface is divided into four areas. The presence and movements of the viewers within these areas trigger both image and sound.

The Image

- Towards the center of the image, close by the viewer, another group of small rectangles becomes visible. The rectangles compose an animated image of a tree. The number of the rectangles and the pace at which they appear is correlated with the movements and attitude of the viewers. For instance, when a viewer remains still for a few seconds, more than one rectangle appears.
- In order for the image to appear whole, several people must stand together on the edge of the circle at the same time.
- When someone enters the area of the projection, that person’s presence first slows down and then completely stops the movement of the branches projected within the rectangles on which he/she is then walking.

The Sound

The sound loops feature recordings of breathing treated in real time. The sound is triggered interactively by the locations and movements of the spectator(s).
- A viewer coming into the room triggers a sound of inhalation, which is followed by a sound of breathing when he moves to another area.
- A second person walking into another area can also trigger the breathing sound.