An immersive interactive light installation controlled by the viewer’s breath

The Sanskrit word “prana” refers to a cosmic life force that originates in the sun and enters the body through the breath. In the act of breathing, we form a connection between ourselves and the universe.

PRANA is a celebration of that connection and a meditation on the unseen energies of our bodies. The experience explores the relationship between breath and light, giving visitors the ability to visualize their energy through its impact on a sphere of 13,221 individual LEDs.

Visitors step into the 12x12 foot suspended sphere and stand in front of a XeThru sensor, an experimental single-chip radar that we pushed into uncharted realms. As they breathe, the XeThru data is fed into a custom JavaScript library, triggering color shifts and animations that make it appear as if the sphere is breathing with them. Sound design from One Thousand Birds heightens the effect, seamlessly transitioning between each phase of the experience.

In order to keep PRANA constantly fresh, we also created a code editor that allows other artists and developers to create custom animations that can later be incorporated into the piece.

The installation was completely designed and built in-house over the course of a year filled with 3D models, late nights, wiring parties and creative breakthroughs. It’s a manifestation of our continued interest in creating memorable and emotional experiences powered by technology.

PRANA is on view at the Fridman Gallery in New York City through August 7, 2015.

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