Ars Electronica 2007
Festival-Website 2007
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Festival 1979-2007



'Takahiro Matsuo Takahiro Matsuo

Phantasm is an interactive installation in which participants light up in a small dreamlike world in space. As you take hold of a glowing sphere that releases a pale light, the area lights up in pale blue light and white butterflies appear from nowhere as a soft piano melody flows. Butterflies fly slowly and gloriously, gathering toward the sphere, and chase you as you move the sphere. The sphere is the key to the real world and fantasy. Participants can experience the nostalgia of playing with butterflies by moving around or holding the sphere in the air. Beautiful white butterflies draw wing strokes in the air as if they are symbols of the fantasy world; they delicately lead you into their world.

If you cover the sphere with your hands to shut out the light, the butterflies gradually disappear, leaving silence and lingering light, bringing you back to reality. You will find yourself perplexed as if it were a fleeting dream.

LEDs are used as the light source for the sphere that is the interface, so that the sphere glows in uniformity and makes possible the interaction of hiding the light or releasing the light with the participants’ hands. Light, color tone, and the position of the sphere is monitored with a sensor camera placed on the ceiling, and by connecting with real time CG, the butterfly movements (appearance, disappearance, gathering, and chasing) become possible. Real-time CG is projected onto a transparent screen with a projector. The image will not only appear on the screen but also appears on the farther wall as the projected image bleeds through the screen. Therefore, because the realm of interactive space includes the space between the screen and the wall, the participant is surrounded by the image. Those who observe from outside the screen will see a harmonized view of human and image, as if the participant is playing a role in a movie scene.