Interactive City: Aura Mirror

conference_image2_fixedMy conference project has changed dramatically since its inception. Originally a Heads-Up Display with a motion-activated target my conference project has turned into an aura inspired by the artist Hilma af Klint. Hilma af Klint was a mystic whose paintings often represented complex spiritual ideas. She specialized in abstract art, and she belonged to a group of women who performed séances to contact the “high masters”. Hilma af Klint created a series of paintings known as “the Swans” which included split canvases with high color contrast representing invisible forces in the inner and outer worlds.


The Swan (No. 16) by Hilma af Klint 


    The Swan (No. 17) by Hilma af Klint

Continuing this spiritual theme I started to use the idea of an aura, which is a distinctive atmosphere found in our world. Like in various paintings from Hilma af Klint, I started with a half black and half white background, using at first one and then eventually two motion activated circles to represent the auras of the people around the computer’s camera. To create these circles I used the motion activation studio code provided for our class. I also used the circle shape changing code that we learned while making mouse toys.

I ultimately realized that the circles did not represent the aura of a person satisfactorily. Instead I started focusing on the background to show the active aura, continuing to use af Klint’s classic idea of contrasting colors pushing against each other, but altering it so that the background has a different shape and colors that keep changing. These colors show the ever-changing environment around us and how different energies in the world push against each other. I kept the motion-activated circles but changed them dramatically. The circles, which were originally color changing were set to two different shades of blue. They were also duplicated so that each of the two circles had two shadows of the same color surrounding it. They now represent the outside forces that disturb our world in different ways.


The final code falls into the category of a play ground/ magic circle. My creation generates a magic circle because it hypnotizes users and draws them in. They seem to be especially interested at the times when the colors change and the screen almost seems to glow. The code creates a playground by creating its own goal and imprinting spiritual culture. I had a great deal of fun creating this project and experimenting with many different color-changing codes.

Author: Talila Tobias