Presented by: Claudia Robles- Angel
LEIKHĒN is an audiovisual installation, created for and during the artist residency at the Immersive Lab (IL) of the ICST (Institute for Music Informatics and Sound Technology) in Zurich, consisting of a panoramic video made for four cylindrically arranged video screens, plus a large-scale interaction surface, which records the tactile interaction of visitors behind the screens using infrared cameras. The audio components within the installation consist of 16 loudspeakers arranged behind the screens on two levels and two subwoofers.
The installation is inspired by the plant composed of lichens (from the Greek: leikhēn), which is the result of a hybrid association between a fungus and an algae. The installation is therefore a reflection on the interaction and mutualistic relationship between two organisms, and how this union impacts their behaviors within an immersive audiovisual space created.
The acoustic part of the environment is composed of nature sounds (crickets, cicadas, etc.) and the visual elements consist of close-up images of various lichen species that together recreate a nature reserve. The sound spatialization was programmed with ambisonics.
The installation basically consists of two types of participants: the central figure or host, seated in the middle of the panoramic video space, whose brainwave values are collected through a BCI interface to influence the sound environment the second type of participant is represented by the guests, visitors who, by touching the screens, influence the emotional states of the host through tactile transducers that are attached to the chair where the host is seated and, consequently, also the audiovisual environment.
LEIKHĒN uses the values from the IL's touch sensors by constantly sending them to a computer (using Max software), where they are mapped to different sound frequencies and sent back to the host's body through the aforementioned touch transducers: As visitors touch the screens, the host feels that tactile interaction or presence in his or her own body.