World Expo Shanghai, 2010
Foreboded by the previous World Expositions, the visitors to the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai found themselves in the crossfire between massive LED screens and countless high definition projections surrounding them. To counteract this trend, Mobility deliberately avoided the typical media surfaces and opted instead for the poetic allure of a kinetic installation. Mobility opened the “Physical Mobility” section in a pavilion dedicated to the concerns of handicapped people. Visible from afar, Mobility provided a visually strong metaphor and put visitors in a positive mood for the subject mobility despite handicap.
The work commissioned by Otto Bock HealthCare referenced a form of communication that has almost been consigned to oblivion: the use of a mirror and sunlight to exchange information over long distances.
The installation spans a corridor of 7-metres width. On the left wall one hundred prosthetic hands arranged in a matrix revolve around their own vertical axis, the movements being controlled by motors. The mirrors they hold reflect the beam of a strong light across the space and onto the opposite wall.
What initially seems like an asynchronous, chaotic pattern of movement soon reveals itself as a complex, computational choreography: at first the hundred light spots move around a central point, akin to the celestial dynamics of the planets or the flight pattern of a swarm of insects and creating the impression of a three-dimensional space. Then suddenly this organic oscillation converges to form a Chinese character denoting movement and action.
Mobility is part of the permanent exhibition at the Ars Electronic Center in Linz, Austria.