Proteus 4.0 

Maria Smigielska & Compmonks

27 June 2023

Interactive installation, on-site and online.

This new development project is part of the series of mixed media installations of an analogue-digital ecosystem called “Proteus”. 

Proteus 4.0 (2023) focuses on interacting and communicating between a digitized material and humans through gaze-tracking and emotion recognition. The series has drawn from the complex behaviour of the ferrofluid material, which, through the invisible force of magnetic fields, constantly changes its shape from dots to meandering stripes and coagulated regions. The material’s behaviour is hard to control or simulate by nature and, as such, is taken as a value of diversity and exploration in the process of ephemeral and non-repeatable pattern generation in this generative and interactive artwork. 

While former versions of the series were designing a single mode of interaction for a single physical space, the artists have now shifted to web-based interactions enacted by personal devices (personal computers, mobiles, tablets). Embedded sensors in these personal devices also allow for a finer grain of face and gaze information and a more sophisticated interaction powered by AI to interpret and regenerate interactive patterns. 

In this new version individual display cells are complemented with reflexive and transparent panels across the space to render a unified spatial experience that occurs anywhere and anytime across the networked planet. Among them, one is actually interactive and enables the visitor to take an active part in it. 

Artwork included in the exhibition Millennials, the media art of Generation Y.