1000 Hands is a visitor generated interactive installation created by Universal Everything, a digital art and design collective, that feeds off of the visitor's creative minds to fill the space with the unique artwork of the audience. Each spectator is invited to download an app that allows them to draw their own design on the touchscreen of their phone or tablet. This drawing is then automatically animated and appears on the screen that circles around the spectators. Surrounding these central digital drawings are four more large projections screens of moving sculptures that resemble dancing human figures. These figures dance around in elaborate digital "costumes" that either closely resemble the original human body movement or visualize a higher level of abstraction.
This installation is a beautiful representation of ways the physical and digital worlds collide. The particle systems used to represent the dancing figures are constantly breaking their obviously human silhouettes to create a much more organic shape and then re-forming back into their original human figure. Spectators are invited to ponder the essence or origin of life they are observing. The work tries to capture the universal primal form of unity in human movement that connects everything together. The digital drawings that are contributed by the spectators also adds to the idea of collectivism. Each drawing is completely different, created by unique individuals, but once they are added into the installation space they all adapt the same sort of movement and aesthetic style.
An article on ArtFund describes the installation:
"In the gallery space it takes the form of a circular projection onto multiple screens, with each one showing an individual artwork generated by app users. An evolving soundtrack will amplify and recede in relation to the works on screen as different shapes reveal hidden forms, behaviours and appearances. Presence meanwhile, is a circular four screen video installation occupying the space around 1000 Hands...The playback of the performances show the dancers in a number of digital 'costumes', for example, glowing feathers or elaborate sculptural trails. While the performances evolve over time, they always move to an audio pulse that harmonises with the soundtrack of 1000 Hands." Universal Everything and You
The Universal Everything wants the piece to create a conversation between abstraction and reality:
"UK- based creative studio Universal Everything continues to investigate these ideas through works that explore abstraction, anthropomorphism, transfiguration and the essence of the human form. Taken collectively, their body of work is a study of our most primal emotional triggers--- the power of moving images and sound to produce synaesthetic experiences; the quest to distill life into its most fundamental, abstract forms; the celebration of gesture, human movement and the beautiful simplicity of the drawn line" Kaganskiy, Julia (2013) 1000 Hands: A visitor generated audio visual installation
This piece is an intensely colorful generative visual experience that wonderfully adds a human touch to digitally rendered animations. With the combination of abstract dancing figures and individually designed by the audience members, the space acts as a portal between physical and digital worlds. Universal Everything creates work that displays hidden meaning behind very basic organic shapes and movements. This artworks strives to promote an emotional relationship with these visualizations since they are all human generated- an exploration that has been greatly emphasized in many Universal Everything's installations.
A similar artwork done by Universal Everything is Communion. In this installation the spectator sits in a room filled with videos of dancing, mutating forms. These creatures continuously evolve from their most primal form to bigger personalities exhibiting unique characteristics. The sound that fills the space is meant to enhance the unity of the room. Similarly in 1000 Hands, the concept of unification and emotional attachment to digital animations is explored. The audience is meant to grow a relationship with the images in each work; in Communion by watching them grow, and in 1000 Hands by actually creating them.
A second piece that relates to 1000 Hands is the interactive installation titled Ego by Klaus Obermaier, Stefano D'Alessio, and Martina Menegon. This piece, like Universal Everything's, shows a visualization of human body movement. In Ego, the audience member's basic form is displayed on the projection as a stick figure with a random gender (not based on the spectator's actual sex). As the audience member moves, their matching stick figure mirrors the movement. Although in 1000 Hands the aspect of the installation that depicts body movement trough digital visualizations is not interactive, both attempt to establish a deeper personal relationship between the audience and the installation's visuals.
1000 Hands was on exhibition at Media Space London