Interactive Installation, Prague City University, 2011, Collaboration with Peter Marencik
Neuron is an interactive installation created by Jakub Grosz and Peter Marencik as part of the Underground City XXI workshops hosted by the LIBAT Hybrid Lab for Arts and New Technologies and the Prague City University. The installation features a multitouch modular screen displaying 3D environments composed of a network of neurons that can be reorganized, resized, and rotated with the use of hand gestures. The stretch textile that makes up the screen allows for a range of interaction, from firm bracing to gentle caressing.
The concept behind the installation centers around the idea of networks and complex systems, with the interconnected neurons serving as a metaphor for various types of networks, from information to the city. The installation also explores the concept of the rhizome, as described by Deleuze and Guattari, which is a network made up of moving directions rather than units. Neuron focuses on the "in-between" of the network, emphasizing the flux and movement between the neurons rather than the neurons themselves.
The installation provides a multisensory experience, with the visual display complemented by sound and touch, creating a synesthetic effect. The soft and stretchy textile screen invites participants to engage in a sensual interaction, and the ability to place their hands inside the screen creates a sense of intimacy and connection to the digital world.
Neuron also poses questions about the relationship between living beings and technology, as participants manipulate the network of neurons and create the illusion of manipulating living things. The installation invites contemplation on the ethical implications of such technology and its impact on society.
In addition to its conceptual depth, Neuron also presents a visionary approach to 3D projection, utilizing the stretch textile screen as a sculptural space where participants can physically manipulate the image. This approach takes into consideration the physical 3D movement in real space connected to the 3D virtual world.
Although originally presented as a prototype in 2010, Neuron demonstrates promising research results in terms of human/computer interface and 3D representation.