Fluid Boundaries

Virtual Nature: Fluid Boundaries
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Fluid Boundaries: Video Documanetation

Video Documentation of the reaction and interaction of audiences day2, day3


This project deals with real-time rendered water effects, sound, and real elements, such as White Mason sand. Indirectly, it creates a visual representation of the interactions between individuals and others in a virtual human society. The audience will participate and enjoy the experience of environments otherwise impossible in reality.

Description of Proposed Thesis Research Project

The thesis of this work falls in the category of ‘Interactive Installation Arts.’ In this project, two things are important to stress to the audience. First, the work indirectly creates visual representation of the interactions between individuals and others in human society. Second, the audience will participate enjoy the experience of environments otherwise impossible in reality.

As stated, this work attempts to create visual representations of interactions via the mutual relation of boundaries between individuals and others in society. As humans have a basic instinct of self-preservation, and according to ‘the theory of symbol’ (Carl Jung, 1963), people always have their own variety of invisible layers and boundaries of different sizes that depend on his/her cultural background or personality and he/she strives to protect them without being violated. Such invisible boundaries seem clear when forming relationships with individuals and making ceaseless efforts not to infringe on others’ privacies. However, humans visit the boundaries of others depending on situations and converse with them and become friends with them by converging with them and combining their power. Humans broaden their relationships through interchange and mutual response, and through this process become members of a society. As such, ‘the boundaries of individuals’ in the lives of humans living with in a community are typically independent, but they are considerably flexible. To understand this statement, you must visualize humans and their boundary-oriented interactions as flexible liquids. Additionally, as Carl Gustav Jung, Swiss psychologist & psychiatrist emphasized, balance and harmony are important. “Modern humans rely too heavily on science and logic and would benefit from integrating spirituality and appreciation of the unconscious realm.” (Carl Jung, 1963) As an example of balance and harmony, logical programming and spiritual boundaries are supporting materials of fluid boundaries.

Furthermore, people dreamed of experiencing something that was previously considered only dreaming using virtual reality. Thus, virtual reality will likely allow the audience to enjoy environments that are impossible to experience in reality. As mentioned above, an instinct of self-protection causes humans to worship the capabilities of gods or superheroes who protect their boundaries under any circumstances. Virtual reality endows the audience with a sense of these super=-human abilities- by letting him/her experience walking on water, even if indirectly, and the transcendent abilities of changing aspects of nature, as seen in the Bible or movies.

In this way, my work enables the audience (participants) to naturally create their own dynamic and diverse boundaries through “interchange and protection” via interactions in virtual space and visualization. As a result, they are able to understand changes regarding the relationship between others and themselves naturally through such visualized flexible interactions. In addition, individuals are able to obtain feelings of pleasure through their new experiences in virtual reality.


(Figure 1. Flowchart)

As can be seen in the flow chart (Fig. 6), every process starts from a fire-wire camera. When the camera detects movements on the stage, it triggers visual effects to be executed from the MAC through the projector and onto the white sand. Movements also trigger sound effects. On the other hand, if motion detection is negative – or motion is absent – the fire-wire camera asks whether visual effects have already been executed. It decides reversion effects or reverts to the starting point of the flow chart.

Interface Design/ Concept Art


(Figure 2. The Interface design)

‘Fluid Boundaries’ was installed in an exhibition space. White Mason sand was used as a projection surface in place of the floor. Real-time rendered sea wave effects were projected from the ceiling towards the white sand. People were allowed to walk on the sand space (Fig. 2).

Funtional Example of User Experience

As soon as participants stand on the sand, the sensor, which is installed on the ceiling, detects their movements and demonstrates the form of the sea dividing in a flexible form on the sand, on a real-time basis.

When there is no movement after three seconds, the divided water returns to its original position, very slowly.

Normally, the marking of the boundaries made by individuals do not converge onto that of others. In case that more than two participants are having body contact with each other or standing within 20cm of each other, each boundary will merge. This signifies sharing and the exchange of two or three individual boundaries and considerations.

Audiences are also able to see shadow traces (Fig. 16) behind them along the path they have been moving, walking or running. This is as similar to an abstract action painting and represents their spiritual character and aura. Each participant will have random-colored trace effects to show the immense variety of human beings. Through this process, participants are allowed to see their revealed paintings underneath the ocean when they cleave the water.

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