LOVE CHILD (Interactive “Inorganism” Installation)

Love Child is an interactive “inorganism,” an environment who responds, communicates, and plays with those who interact with her. Love Child is a singular, long, dormant vine-like creature. Love Child exists in, and is, her light; her light steals you into her. You are Love Child. We are Love Child.

Love Child was created by Em MacMillen and Shimshon Obadia as a comment on the ways in which we often take our planet and its resources for granted. Listen around you and you will hear the tweets and squeaks of Love Child’s unique computerized heartbeat, then come closer. When you first approach her, she invites you to join her and play with her. She begins to breath with you and you may find yourself breathing with her after a while. Your breath is shared. Her breath however is, like ours, limited. She wants to breath with you, spend too long taking her breath though, and she can be traumatized.

Using a combination of Arduino micro-controller programming, a material called shape memory alloy, live-feed video projection, and Max/MSP/Jitter programming, MacMillen and Obadia have been able to create the interactive environmental inorganism, Love Child. When you approach the tendril-like creature and her audio/video extensions, your shadow triggers a photo resistor (light sensor) which Love Child can sense your presence from. She then tries to connect with you by sharing her “breath.” Here, the signal travels from her sensor to her brain, the Arduino micro-controller, which outputs electricity into her tendril-like veins, the shape memory alloy. This enables her to move and “breath” with you at a pace given to her at conception from both MacMillen’s and Obadia’s own combined breathing. Love Child then extends beyond the walls of her gallery home infinitely through a mirrored video landscape, projected on to her as her pigmentation. This kaleidoscoping video extension is generated by a live-feed camera and a projector, programmed through Max/MSP/Jitter, which not only captures her own image infinitely into herself, but captures and multiplies whomever is sharing her breath with her as well. 

We created Love Child so that she would want to play with you, to breath with you, and to live with all of us. She also connects with us, or more so, she reveals to us how we are all connected, all inextricably linked. She is a body of continuous interconnected vines and video. She brings us into her and she shares her gifts with all of us. But when you have exhausted her resources, like the planet she represents – when she has been shared too much – the lights flash in alarm, she doesn’t know what to do, she is overwhelmed, and she collapses. She is our Love Child, we made her and we made the difficulties she must live with. We need her, she is connected to you too now, please take care of her, and sustain her while we still can.

Also, see more from Em MacMillen on their website.