Ivanhoe’s Mirage Installation Blends Art and Tech
Shopping malls are a dime a dozen these days. You browse, you buy and you leave the experience unchanged and generally unimpressed. But Metropolis at Metrotown, British Columbia’s largest mall, wasn’t willing to become another run-of-the-mill shopping destination. Instead, the mall dreamed up Mirage, a 360-degree audiovisual installation that mesmerized audiences by blurring the lines between art and technology.
The objective was simple: attract new customers by creating an inherently shareable experience that participants couldn’t help but broadcast to their social media followers. The execution was more complicated. The installation needed to run by itself every day without the need for on-site adjustments. In addition, hassle-free data capture and integrated social amplification were top priorities. Lofty goals? Perhaps. But Metropolis delivered on all three.
Mirage was designed to fuse color, geometry, sound and depth perception into one immersive experience—all within the confines of a 20-foot by 20-foot space. To get it done, Metropolis leveraged floor and ceiling mirrors, four projectors and a projection-mapping media server that seamlessly blended the corners of the room to simulate a 360-degree experience. The experience started out with the image of a grid of white dots on a black background slowly growing and shrinking in synch with the accompanying audio. The dots were then compressed into dizzying stripes, and as they met, the walls seemed to push outward, making the room appear to expand. As attendees made their way through the trippy space, a webcam captured their experience.