Rockefeller Center, the site of America’s first public botanic garden, has teamed up with Australian creative duo Tin & Ed, Tin Nguyen and Edward Cutting, to present a new interactive digital art installation that provides a portal to nature, taking audiences on a vivid journey through the natural world. The exhibit, which uses emerging technologies including 3D scanning and human body tracking, will be on view at the Center’s South Plaza (located on 48th Street between 5th – 6th Avenues) from April 26 – June 30, 2021. The immersive dioramas will be displayed on three giant screens, each 15 feet wide, free of charge and without timed reservations.
Applying technologies similar to those used in modern gaming, the screens will be filled with vibrant three-dimensional digital lifeforms that come together to create life-like habitats. Real-time human body tracking technology will allow viewers to affect these interactive environments through their movement in front of the screens, with audience behavior mimicking different forces that affect the natural world. Audiences can move their bodies in front of the screen to role-play as pollen and spores, embody feeding slime mold and mushrooms, and even dance as swaying rock formations. Among the colorful and dynamic scenes and subjects that viewers will experience and interact with are the journey of pollen and spores, rock formations, blooming flowers, and mushrooms. The experience will reinforce that humans are part of the natural world, not separate from it.
“Throughout our history, Rockefeller Center has been at the intersection of art and innovation, and we are deeply committed to providing greenspaces to New Yorkers, so Tin & Ed, with their artistic applications of technology that are deeply rooted in nature, are a perfect fit for our campus,” said EB Kelly, Tishman Speyer Managing Director overseeing Rockefeller Center. “We are excited to introduce this dynamic exhibition that reinforces the importance of nature, conservation, and sustainability.”
“Life Forces is our urgent, joyful reminder of the interconnectedness of every living thing, and the fragile, complex bonds linking our every action to natural systems, like a network of invisible veins,” said Tin & Ed.
Creative technologists based in New York, Tin & Ed are known for creating playful artistic installations and experiences that are driven by a deep curiosity for the natural world and the intricate ways people are connected to it. Known for blurring the lines between art and science, the physical and digital, and human and nonhuman, the duo are current members of NEW INC., the art and technology incubator run by the New Museum, where they are developing their practice in the ‘Creative Science’ track, exploring novel applications for science and technology through the lens of art and design.
Tin & Ed previously have shown their creations at the Sydney Opera House, The Liu Haisu Museum in Shanghai, The Artscape in Cape Town, The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, and Pier 17 in New York.