nite_aura : Embodied Immersion: Art/Design/Research


audiovisual interactive immersive installation (2008)
Collaboration with Greg Corness


au·ra : n. pl. au·ras or au·rae

1. a distinctive and pervasive quality or character; air; atmosphere: an aura of respectability; an aura of friendliness.
2. a subtly pervasive quality or atmosphere seen as emanating from a person, place, or thing.
3. Pathology. a sensation, as of lights or a current of warm or cold air, preceding an attack of migraine or epilepsy.



nite_aura is an audio-visual interactive installation exploring physical, auditory and visual motion within an immersive environment. Many children imagine themselves flying through a night sky full of stars. Humans often whisper wishes to the stars. nite_aura embodies these memories and experiences allowing for visitors to whisper to the air and play with fields of stars surrounding them.

The main structure is a hanging bell constructed of fiber optics and fabric. Participants enter the space by lifting one side, setting the bell in motion. Physical engagement is sustained by pulling cords from the ceiling or touching the glowing fiber optics that protrude into the bell surrounding the participant. The inside of the installation acts as a metaphor for private space, connecting infinite space and finite being, and acting as a pathway between sensual and virtual worlds.

Organic patterns based on the bell’s swing influence grains of light and sound to immerse the viewers.

nite_aura’s lights are soft and calm. Light affects our perception of emotion. Once the bell starts moving, points of light gently oscillate under the control of the participants; it seems that they are dancing in the end of a fiber optic thread trying to fly off. When participants touch the grains of light, they fluctuate and swirl, and are separated from the physical end of fiber optics and illusory light traces become visible.

Granular synthesis and a set of resonant filters tuned to the harmonics of a bell are all controlled by the motion of the structure to produce the sound environment. The sounds made by each participant are recorded into an archive which contributes to this sonic ecosystem.


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Technical Requirement

nite_aura requires a minimum 5m*5m*3m(h). The main structure of nite_aura needs to be suspended in the middle. In addition, the hanging point should be strong enough to hold the weight of the fabric, fiber optics, projector and speaker. This piece creates quiet ambient sounds thus it requires to be installed away from loud sound installations.
Two AC power feeds are also required. The computers are networked using a Lan so no external networking is necessary.


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