The event is sponsored by the Department of Music and New Technologies of the Conservatory of Florence ‘Luigi Cherubini’, in partnership with the University of Chester and New York University. It was managed by composer Alfonso Belfiore, who drew on the interactive works and performances of international artists such as Bill Viola, Pietro Grossi, Jeremy Turner, Apparati Effimeri and Audiotopie.
The aim of the project was to explore new inner worlds and scenarios, bringing the audience to experience life rather than a simple enjoyment, and to express contemporary art via interactive installations where public participation is at the core.
One key interactive installation was supported by Deva, the technology created by Powersoft. Conceived as a metaphor for life, Alfonso Belfiore’s ‘SPAWN make the game’ uses Deva equipment scattered throughout the park, spreading music and taking pictures while communicating with each other.
Deva is a patented multifunctional device that enables audio messaging and video capture. It is equipped with several sensors (microphone, presence detector, twilight switch, temperature/humidity/pressure measurement) and accessories such as LED lights.
Six solar powered Devas were placed in the garden of the Bardini Museum, playing audio files and detecting the movement of visitors, at the same time taking a picture sequence of them. Deva then provided frames via wifi to a computer which stored the captured “memories” and, through an algorithm in Max / MSP, was able to recompose them in movie sequences with the inevitable distortions, transformations and elaborations that consciousness often recalls.
“The name of the multimedia installation, Spawn, is taken from video games language and is used when a character or an object makes its first appearance,” explains Belfiore. He goes on to say, “As in a video game, the appearance of a new character ‘Spawn’ is the event that opens up new possibilities and opportunities. Thus, for the visitor, the discovery of their image within the work is the acknowledgment of the inevitable participation of one’s being to the history and life, while the transfigured vision of its image fully reveals new aspects of their identity lived at that time almost with the eyes of others”.
In this context Deva assumed the central role, representing a kind of gateway to an unreachable world; the place where the experience of the encounter, at a particular moment in time, becomes a recorded image in the memory which could potentially have new life, new possibilities and meanings.