Ars Electronica 2007
Festival-Website 2007
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Festival 1979-2007



'Kyoko Kunoh Kyoko Kunoh / 'Motoshi Chikamori Motoshi Chikamori / 'Kakehi Yasuaki Kakehi Yasuaki

hanahana is an interactive art installation that enables the visualization of scent. In Japanese “hana” has a dual meaning: the receptive organ “nose” and a “flower” emitting fragrance. The hanahana, a compound of the two hanas, visualizes temporal variations of scent by projecting on the wall a flower image that changes in size, color, and degree of transparency.

To enjoy hanahana, apply perfume to a leaf-shaped piece of paper, la mouillette, and attach it to the stalk in a vase. A flower image will then bloom on the silhouette of the stalk that is projected on the wall. The color and shape of the flower change in various ways according to the strength and sort of fragrance applied to the paper.

The audience can enjoy temporal variations of scent from the changing color and density of the flower. If the strength of scent exceeds a certain level, silhouettes of insects and animals will appear around the flower, as if they are lured by the fragrance. hanahana can also make its own original flower bloom, reacting not only to prepared scents, but also to smells coming from the audience, such as perfume, food and halitosis. Thus, by watching the projections on the wall, the audience will re-recognize the existence of scent, which is always too vague for us to appreciate in our daily lives.

Technically speaking, for real-time scent recognition we utilize an array of scent sensors normally used for quantitative measurement in the fields of chemical experiments and production evaluation. This sensor can sample the air and measure the degree and strength of ambient scent in real time. By using multiple sensors, the system can also classify scents into groups. These data are transferred onto a computer, and the computer projects the image in real time (about 60 fps).

The possibilities of this work are unlimited and we think it could open up a new paradigm of interaction. The visualization of scent will change the surroundings of hanahana and lead us to a new recognition of space. In the future, we plan to expand our project by exploiting the scent device in various ways.