Somewhere Our City


Somewhere Our City is an installation designed to engage children by blending their participation between physical and digital spaces. Flying machine templates are coloured then instantly inserted into a digital animation using computer vision techniques. There they live on, circling the city, floating in the clouds. The project was commissioned by Perth International Arts Festival in 2015 for presentation, alongside the ScreenKids Film Festival, in the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. Creative collaborator and artist Chris Nixon shares about his work on the project. 

The project was an idea we had at my studio between Sam Price (Animation, Audio, Video), Steve Berrick (Concept, Code) and I (Illustration). We wanted to break down the creative process so everyone has access to a simple publishing platform using projections.

The installation was there for three days with over 600 kids taking part in it, and the response was incredible. Two organisations have already said they want another installation for next year, another wants a license to use this display as is for a three month temporary exhibit, and several councils are getting in touch to look at commissioning something similar. 

In our minds, this was about 25% of what is possible for a project like this. Due to time pressures and a limited budget we had to make do and limit our own creativity somewhat to produce the final installation here. Having said this, we loved the process, which was incredibly easy to work on, and we’d love to push it further to see what’s possible. 

This is a great base to work from with a really simple concept as far as the execution goes but we're really interested in building up more complex motion with the set elements of the city, and increasing the interactivity between the flying machines so they create more of a narrative, rather than just relying on the impact of the process.

I guess the part that we would push most of all is the storytelling experience - creating more of a physical installation to blend that space between digital and the real world as well as increasing the interactivity of the installation to tell a compelling story that anyone can be a part of.

The best part of the entire project was by far the response from the kids. Look out for that affect moment. Hope you enjoy!  

Click here to view more work by Chris