Amplifier for Art, Science and Society

'LightWing II' at Lentos Museum Linz. Image courtesy of Authors, © 2019–2023.

'LightWing II' at Lentos Museum Linz. Image courtesy of Authors, © 2019–2023.

LightWing II

arc/sec – Uwe Rieger & Yinan Liu

LightWing II offers a truly sensory experience, mysteriously placing its digital data in the visitor’s hand. A light touch sets the delicate wing-like structure into a rotational oscillation and allows the visitors to navigate through holographic dreamlike environments of awe and delight. This includes interacting with a swarm of three-winged creatures, being immersed in a silky bubble, journeying through a velvet wormhole and arriving in a forest of dandelions that release hundreds of creatures when touched lightly by the spikey centre of the wing.

LightWing II aims to link three dimensional digital animations to a moving structure. It is an interactive object that expands the principles of contemporary augmented reality (AR) headsets from a single-person viewing device towards a communal multi-viewer event. Its main constructive components consist of thin, flexible, carbon fibre tubes holding a fine holo-mesh in tension. This is an almost invisible projection screen. It rests on a single needle-point support, which is placed off-centre and balanced by a counterweight. A key component of this project was the novel development of a rendering principle that allows the accurate projection of stereoscopic images on a moving target screen.

LightWing II dissolves the user interface through the direct linkage between the physical construction and the dynamic digital content. Handling the object means handling the attached digital information. The combination of physical structure, sensors, and real-time information creates a vessel that allows the visitors to navigate through realities on a journey that blurs the boundaries between the tactile and the virtual.