FlexNetSpotlight

Night falls at the University of Arizona Student Union, and a luminous web of fabric hangs overhead. Projections swirl across its surface as people walk underneath.

The installation is called "FlexNet Interface". For a small team of 5th year architecture students, it is the result of a semester's work in a design studio course focused on process. Student Kyle Szostek explains "what that means is rather than designing a product, we are more focused on the process of designing something".

The "FlexNet Interface" is made of stretch fabric, pcv pipes, and steel cables. Images of pedestrians are captured by webcams hidden in its folds, and fed to two laptops. The computers run an open source visualization software called Processing. The software outputs to two projectors installed above the fabric net, thus creating an interactive visual loop. Within seconds of people walking under it, a blitz of particles is projected just above them. Szostek says "sometimes it take a minute for people to realize [the particles are] following them.

Student Rene Corella describes the project as a digital art installation with the purpose of "civic engagement in a public area". Uniquely ephemeral and interdisciplinary, the FlexNet Interface was installed at the union for 2 weeks in December 2012.

Producer: Heather Wodrich | Videographers: J Blain, Jon Dineyazhe| Editor: Lauren Bays

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