Another Life is one of Europe's largest permanent interactive public artworks, installed in the heart of Bradford, England. Integrated into the infrastructure of the City Park, the project brings the environment to life and plays on the idea of urban myths by controlling fountains, mist makers, ambient lighting and multiple RGB lasers that draw unexpected dancing patterns of light on and around visitors in response to their movements through it.
Never the same on two days running, the work encourages people to become players upon the urban stage by choreographing the projections, fountains and ambient illumination of the park in a symphony of interactive urban experiences.
Another Life includes a cutting-edge interactive projection on the water and mist of the Mirror Pool that responds to the movement and actions of visitors. In order to achieve the complex interactions, we created a software engine and 'urban operating system' that choreographs and coordinates the activity of various elements within and around the pool, determining what happens when, and how the projections and fountains respond to visitors.
The system continually adjusts its outputs in response to various environmental and infrared camera sensors, as well as external factors and community requirements, and in the future may be easily modified according to designs created by local artists using control templates we have written for Processing and openFrameworks.
We also created our own drivers for the RGB laser equipment, enabling us to produce distinctive lighting effects; and developed a novel system for blurring the lasers to ensure safety while maintaining sufficiently colourful luminance in the context of relatively bright urban ambient lighting.
Another Life gives the City Park development an adaptive and distinctive 'personality', which changes over time and according to varying conditions. The richness of the interactions (created by the choreographies and the sensors and outputs) will gradually develop as visitors and the local community engage with the artwork over the course of several years.
Another Life grew from concepts developed in collaboration with Ai Hasegawa, 2009.
- Usman Haque, creative director
- Jonathan Laventhol, principal consultant, technical director, project manager and all-round superhero
- Nitipak 'Dot' Samsen, designer
- Dan Sloane, production manager
- Iram Quraishi, project coordinator