Project: SPINE

Project: SPINE

Like other artists, Danish architectural firm Kollison found a unique structural medium in PVC pipe and fittings for their interactive art installation, installed at Godsbanen in Aarhus, Denmark during the Media Architecture Biennale 2012, called SPINE.

Using 160 FORMUFIT 3/4" 3-Way PVC Connector Fittings along with 800 feet (240 meters) of plastic pipe, Kollision built a fascinating, interactive architectural sculpture that responds to the sounds and locations of guests visiting the performing arts center.

At fifty meters (164 feet) long, it looks like a strange lifeform, rocking back and forth as it sizes up people walking by. And Kollison says it can be "moody, sometimes shy, and avoidant, at other times more curious and almost aggressive."


Spine is an interactive installation based on twenty glowing cubes and an atmospheric sound composition. Each cube is moved in fluid motions by two computer-controlled motors. The movements of the cubes, as well as the sound composition, react to nearby visitors by working together as one coherent expression in dialogue with the surroundings - a fifty meter long spine floating in space continually displaying new movements, light scenes and sounds. Spine is moody, sometimes shy and avoidant at other times more curious and almost aggressive.

Kollision is the main designer of the installation and was involved in all stages of planning and execution with a specific focus on creating the interactive and sensor based 3D-engine, which controls the winches and the 3D-positioning of the cubes, controlled the light sources and triggered event sounds.

There's more than just a PVC pipe structure that comprised this remarkable sculpture. In addition, the following technology helped to bring the work to fluid life:

40 DMX-controlled winches

20 DMX-controlled light sources

two laser tracking mechanisms

a dedicated sound PC with multiple MIDI interfaces

and 11 strategically located speakers

You can see more photos of this exceptional and distinct structure here at the Kollision website, both completed, and under construction, as well as a video of SPINE in motion (3:40).

SPINE from Kollision on Vimeo.


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