Detour is an interactive multisensory environment, created by the interdisciplinary group VE_design and specifically designed for very busy area of the urban context. It functions as a detour from the crowdedness and introversion of city life towards an artificial wonderland; within this site-specific installation space, the visitor is invited to participate in a communication game with the “detour” system as well as with other visitors.
This artificial “landscape” has a memory. People are invited to interact and intentionally provide their voices and images to the system. These are then captured, processed, distorted and dynamically positioned, in real time, within the 8-channel audio system of the installation and on an appropriately placed projection. Consequently, differently processed versions of these sounds and images are randomly selected and communicated again to future visitors of the environment. In this sense, “Detour” is an artificial “landscape” which remembers the voices and images of people who visited it and randomly recalls them, thus redefining all captured raw audiovisual content. Visitors may also affect the way that sounds are being displayed by appropriately moving their body in relation to certain elements of the environment.
The real content of “Detour” is produced by the people themselves. Human presence and action activates a series of pre-designed processes which finally formulate the spatial experience afforded by the installation space. The material form of “detour” consists of a wooden platform, positioned along a very busy pedestrian walkway. “Slices” of this platform are being dislocated and risen in order to articulate a series of artificial, abstractly formed “trees”, which carry the input/output components for collecting and communicating audiovisual content. The end points of these “trees” spray particles of water, increasing the moisture of the installation’s atmosphere and creating a visually surreal result when combined with the lighting elements at night.
“Detour” is a sound-enhanced, interactive architectural environment, which activates the senses, functions as a behaviour amplifier and supports communication amongst its visitors, with the support of its lighting, microclimate, and video elements.