Safety In Numbers

Brief documentation of an interactive installation created for Experimental Design Project at RMIT Saigon South, Vietnam [2016].

The concept and title stem from the showcase’s theme of ‘the crowd effect’, later titled “Blinded by the Shadow. Safety in Numbers is an attempt to demonstrate the way in which a crowd can be so easily manipulated. Inspired by horrific events like the Bastille day attack in Nice, the bamboo chimes are shaped to represent humanoid figures forming a crowd. They are gathered within a structure made from bamboo chicken cages and a fish trap, altogether shaped so as to hypothetically cage an entire standing human. An opening is offered to participants to allow them to manipulate the whole crowd with a single flick.

The sound of the chimes and vibrations from the cage were captured by an AKG D112 at the back of the structure and effected within Ableton in a hidden Mac to create a ripple effect and one mimicking sirens (the wake of a horrific event). A powered speaker was housed and hidden within the base of the structure facing up so as to create a very immersive and reactive experience. Another speaker was placed near the hidden computer.

The makeshift exhibition space in a classroom was a little less-than-ideal. The work was intended for display in a darkened room to allow for silhouettes to be cast upon the walls. The lighting created by other works had not been taken into account, so this footage was taken with other works switched off when no visitors were around.

photos courtesy of Loic Bertrand Chichester and Dat Pham

video courtesy of Phạm Hồng Nhật

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