Social Galaxy is an an interactive art installation created by Black Egg, an experiential design studio founded by Kenzo Digital and Lucas Werthein. Screens capture your past, mirror your present, and project your vision of the future. In this two-part journey, screens stand as the synthesis of technology and identity, leading you through a mind-bending Installation of your social media history and at last revealing a larger-than-life reflection of your social media self on the Brand Wall screen, made of 96 55" LCD displays. Every thought you’ve had and authored, every moment you’ve captured and posted, have made ripples in the continuum of time and space. These ripples are ever expanding, they intersect with the ripples of countless others, and the galaxy through which they echo is infinite. Ahead lies a dimension where these moments and thoughts - your posts - bring new perspective to who we are as individuals and social beings. Through the lens of Samsung technology, be prepared to transcend your identity, attain an everlasting home within the walls of Samsung 837, and find your place in the galactic expanse of social consciousness.
Social Galaxy is an interactive art installation in a two-part experience: 1) an infinitely reflected tunnel filled with the personal Instagram content of each participant; 2) a three-story tall LED screen that ultimately connects guests to the entire 837 community through personal portraits of each participant.
The Visitor Journey
Visitor notices the portrait displayed on the Brand Wall curiously reflected and deconstructed in strategically positioned mirrors on the exterior of an installation in the Exhibit Space. This reflection serves as a beacon, drawing the visitor into the Exhibition Space. They can see the beginning of a mysterious journey, and its inevitable yet totally unpredictable end. Guests enter their Instagram handle into a keypad and enter a tunnel filled with Samsung screens, comprised of TVs, tablets and phones. Immediately, they are surrounded by imagery from their Instagram account on every screen - allowing them to experience, examine, and reflect on moments in the past and present in a new and meaningful way. The Social Galaxy tunnel is a time machine. It gives the visitor the chance to travel from the origin of their social media identity all the way up to the post they made on the trip to 837. It’s an entire history compressed into one moment, one space.
Upon entering the tunnel, every screen features a different hashtag, while a soundscape of multiple male and female voices read them aloud. As guests move forward through the tunnel, the screens continually change the content pulled from their Instagram feeds - from hashtags to single images, then collages of images on every screen, and finally, text from posts to a mix of everything together. The soundscape vocalizes the text, followed by vocal descriptions of all images at the end of the tunnel. Mirrors positioned along the walls reflect the visitor’s cascading social media feed to an expansive horizon. The content of each Samsung screen and its strategic placement on the tunnel create the illusion of subtle waves rolling over a vast, vibrant sea of images. The visitor is completely enveloped by an infinite conduit of content they created. The tunnel is large enough to accommodate multiple visitors at the same time, who can marvel at the spectacle before them and meander through the space at their leisure.
Design & Fabrication
The exterior of the Installation is covered in a black matte material with the exception of the peephole wall, which consists of 9 mirror panels each containing an LED light surrounded peephole. Nine peepholes were arranged in the center of each panel all at different heights. THE LED’s around each peep hole look like pulsating solar systems from afar. As the visitor approaches them they notice that the peep holes are moving, creating a vortex like movement drawing them into the installation. Upon closer inspection, the pulsating solar systems are optical illusions that create the illusion of depth and movement through light and perspective play. The peep holes are arranged to maximize the effect as they are arranged pointing towards the center of the installation, creating subtle illusion as a visitor walks past the installation or looks at it from afar. For the standard peephole, Visitors are able to take a photo of the inside perspective with their phones.
As guests emerge from the tunnel, they approach the Social Galaxy photo mosaic. Here, visitors snap photos of themselves at a photo booth using a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge phone and watch as their portrait is displayed on a huge, three-story LED Screen. Each portrait is made up of thousands of small images pulled from the personal Instagram feed of each participant, as well as the collective pool of past 837 visitors’ Instagram feeds – a reflection of self as a culmination of experiences.
This experience was made in collaboration with Kyle McDonald and Lauren McCarthy.