SHOAL - A Touring Interactive Art Installation
SHOAL - A Touring Interactive Art Installation
The Magic Light Show is busy creating SHOAL, a sea of illuminated, interactive fish-on-sticks.
The Magic Light Show is busy creating SHOAL, a sea of illuminated, interactive fish-on-sticks. Read more
This summer we will be embarking on a European tour, taking in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany and The Netherlands. We will end up back in the UK in time for the August festivals, including Hamswell Festival on 15th August.
This Kickstarter campaign is to fund the material costs of manufacturing the installation.
Project of the Day, 15th April 2014 - thank you Kickstarter!
Who are we?
The Magic Light Show is a creative partnership between Stewart Davies (electronic engineer) and Neil Simmons (artist and product designer) set up to create high-tech art installations. Stewart and Neil met at Glastonbury festival in 2008 and instantly began devising project ideas together. To make those ideas a reality Stewart embarked on studies in electronic engineering and Neil, on completion of his masters in product design, continued to develop new ways of creating solid 3D objects out of felt. Shoal is an evolution of Neil’s previous project, Creatureland, a colourful display of different animals on sticks for festivals and club nights.
What is SHOAL?
For the last six months, Stewart and Neil have been working around the clock to develop SHOAL. The result is an amazing display of a sea of fish that responds to touch, as individual fish light up and move, before spreading colour, light and motion through the entire SHOAL.
How does it work?
Made using new technology, including 3D printing, each fish is self-contained with battery power, sensors, motor, and wireless transceivers. The sensors tell the fish which direction it is facing, whether it has been touched, and how far and how fast it is moving. The fish can then tell their friends what's happening and the motor means all the fish can swim in the same direction, or turn to face someone who has come to play.
There will be between 50 and 70 fish swimming at any one time, depending on the space that is being filled. They are designed to be placed either in the natural environment (fields or woods), where the sticks will go directly into the ground, or in an urban environment where the fish will be suspended from an aluminium framework.
A swim around Europe
Displaying the installation around Europe between June and August, The Magic Light Show will be developing, through feedback and participation, the interactivity of SHOAL, exploring new ways for the technology to be used. The fishies can't wait to get out there swim amongst you all.
Light weight and colourful. They look great and make an awesome way to spot your friends in a festival crowd.
Light Up Bouncy Desk Fish
A cute little fish that sits on your desk and plugs into any USB port for power. Suspended on a springy wire, their light will react to all their bouncing around.
Domestic Tour Fish
These will be the same size, feature all the same technology as the tour fish and will be made to a high quality finish. At 1.65 metres tall, with a heavy base stand and powered from the mains, they make amazing bespoke lamps for any home or office.
You will be able to control your domestic fish wirelessly with your iOS or Android device. Aside from being able to change its colour, brightness and sequences the app will turn your fish into a music reactive display. We will continue to develop in new features to the app based on idea popularity. Perhaps you would like to have your fish light up when you are mentioned in a tweet? We would love to hear your ideas.
Learning and development
The Magic Light Show have been learning every day with the Shoal project, how to make the production smoother and how to make the final experience better for the people that will experience the installation.
The summer tour will be an iterative development process. Continuing to work on the interactions, controls and communications of the shoal based on user experience.
The aim is to take what has been learned about people's interactions with Shoal and apply it to producing bigger and better installations. As well as this, the long goal plan is to take this knowledge and apply it to wider projects, such as interactive playground design, introducing light, sound and tactile responses, embedded into objects. There are many future possibilities for development, of which, the company will be looking towards working with therapy researchers in designing multi-sensory stimulation environments for those with special needs.
Our end of summer events
Migrating back up stream SHOAL will be ready for the tail end of the UK summer festivals in August.
In London there will be an event on the weekend of 5th September. This will involve a collection of all the ideas the fish have built up over their summer research tour and a time to bring together some new friends and collaborations. We will email all our sponsors with details.
Thank you for viewing this and for any help you can give us, and don't forget to swim, swim, swim as hard as you can!
See you in the summer!
Risks and challenges
There is a lot of manufacturing to do, as all the fish are hand made. But the production process is fairly smooth now.
We've learned a lot about 3D printing the internal structures and have a production schedule with room for manoeuvre.
If there are any manufacturing delays, we have backup manpower and machines which should keep us on track.
- (21 days)