Submergence 2013, Norway, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, exhibited in Oslo/Geneva/Bristol/Vlissingen/Bremen/Cologne

Submergence, an immersive, walkthrough art installation

Submergence is a large, immersive, responsive, walkthrough experience. It uses 8,064 individual points of suspended light to create feelings of presence and movement within physical space.

The installation transforms an art gallery space into a hybrid environment where virtual and physical worlds coincide. As you enter the piece, you are walking into a space occupied by both real and virtual components, and you can affect both. The piece is divided into four discrete sections, each lasting around five minutes, creating a semi-linear 20 minute piece. In its entirety, an abstract narrative is formed with a gradual increase in tension, building to a final climax. Each of the four sections has its own elements, atmosphere and responsiveness. They are also all open to one’s own interpretation. "Lanterns" - very slowly moving orbs of light inhabit the space, suspended in mid air. Approach them however and they move away and eventually vanish. "Divided Space" creates two volumes of negative space, divided by a moving plane. When entered, the divisions dissolve, leaving a trail of illuminated space wherever you are. "Swarm" fills the space with myriad flying lights that are attracted by your presence. With more than one person in the space, they are no longer sure of where to go, and often change their mind about who they wish to be near. "Ecstatic" is sheer experience – feel the light as it intensifies in an explosion of colours.


Project artist/ concept/ design/ planning : Squidsoup (Anthony Rowe, Gaz Bushell, Chris Bennewith, Liam Birtles, Ollie Bown)

Light design : Squidsoup

Lighting control software : Squidsoup

Interaction design/ programming : Squidsoup


Kind of light creation : Immersive, responsive walkthrough space consisting of 8,064 LEDs suspended within the space, used as a volumteric visualisation system.

Resolution and transmitting behaviour : Low resolution but volumetric. 8,064 x 0.6W RGB LEDs

Participatory architecture & urban interaction