Macula 2022, Australia, Sydney

Video mapped Spiralling Bamboo tunnel

Named after the centre of the human eye’s retina that enables us to perceive colour and fine details, Macula is a first-of-its-kind artwork: a sculptural installation that combines sustainable architecture and video mapping.

Macula is a custom sculpture made out of sustainably harvested bamboo precisely mapped with bespoke video animation. Shaped like a spiralling tunnel of over 150 natural bamboo poles with an aesthetically pleasing appearance during daylight, the installation is a reminder of the natural world and one of its most regenerative resources. This custom piece of installation art is constructed only from Australian grown and harvested bamboo and light – as well as a steel frame to give the shape the required structural integrity. After dusk, as the daylight diminishes, this unique artwork comes to life in an abstract dance of patterns of light. Each pole of bamboo is precisely mapped with kaleidoscopic, geometric patterns. The intricacy of mapping organic structures is an enormous challenge and requires detailed knowledge and close collaboration of designers, architects as well as projection mapping experts. Macula is an immersive experience as the audience is invited to walk through this artwork which can function either as an entrance, a stage or a standalone sculpture. Visitors are reminded not only of their connection to nature but of the fact that they are literally surrounded by and inseparable of the natural environment. The mesmerising, pulsing light show invokes the perception of an abstract journey as the visitor wanders deeper into the rabbit hole. The inner world and the outer world are merging into one in a hypnotic interplay of animated light and atmospheric soundscapes. This gateway into the subconscious is accompanied by a layered organic soundtrack that reminds us of ephemeral wood wind instruments and shamanic Amazonian music interlaced with accustomed sounds from the Australian bush. Made from local natural materials and designed as a travelling exhibition, Macula serves as an example how media architecture can adopt more sustainable practices and promotes human cohabitation with nature.


Building or project owner : H0RSE

Architecture : Barefootdesign

Project artist/ concept/ design/ planning : H0RSE

Facade design : H0RSE / Barefootdesign

Facade construction : H0RSE / Barefootdesign

Kinetic engineering : none

Light design : H0RSE, Sydney

Technical layout light : Twisted Pixel, Melbourne

Display content/ visuals/ showreel : H0RSE, Sydney

Light hardware (LED hardware) : Twisted Pixel, Melbourne

Lighting control software : Disguise Solo

Project co-ordination : H0RSE

Membrane skin : none

Interaction design/ programming : Twisted Pixel, Melbourne

Project sponsor/ support : none

Pixel or other basic module/ elements : none


Facade type and geometry (structure) : A spiralling funnel shaped 6-7m deep tunnel made from over 150 poles of bamboo.

Kind of light creation : Projection mapping Because of the laser technology the projector runs at 8 amps which is 1/3 of what a traditional lamp projector would use

Resolution and transmitting behaviour : Projector: Barco UDM-4k22 Resolution: 3840 x 2400

Pixel distance : 2.3mm

Luminace : 690 Lux

Urban situation : Macula is a touring artwork which premiered with its original animation at the Vivid Festival in Darling harbour, Sydney in May 2022. Placed in front of the Chinese garden of friendship the organic bamboo shape created a stark contrast to the the surrounding steel and glass of the Darling Harbour skyline.

Description of showreel : Macula @ Vivid Sydney 2022

Participatory architecture & urban interaction

Community or communities involved : Macula travelled to Alice Springs, Australia and was displayed under the name ' Irretye' with animated content of Indigenous art from the late Jeannie Egan Nungarrayi at Parrtjima festival in April 2022. This festival draws a large crowd of Aboriginal and Torrent Strait Islander people and is one of the most popular annual cross cultural events in the Northern Territory. Parrtjima festival commissioned 5 paintings from the Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation based in the remote Central Desert community Yuendemu, which were then turned into a 2.5min looping animation.

Impact : Macula was premiered at Vivid 2022 with a record breaking audience number of over 2.58 million people over 23 days.