Vinzenz Reinhardt is an interaction designer and media artist.
His work investigates the intersection of art, technology and design.

2017 interactive particle experiment

Objects go above, beyond or outside the realms of what would normally be considered the concrete and stable nature of objects throughout design history. With an increasing amount of objects networked, either through technologies like the Internet of Things and automation or through the nature of globalised production chains, objects no longer exist as discrete, solid things but as near ‘hyperobjects’ (Morton 2010) - existing across multiple times and spaces. For instance, your phone also exists on a server centre somewhere as well as triangulated by cell towers and with a product ID that traces all the parts through history and future. Hyperobjects are "more than the sum of their parts."

ATMOSPHERICA visualises the influence of radioactive forces on particles in our atmosphere. The decay of atoms is a natural process, which can be induced by ionising radiation, which is detectable throughout the entire universe. Moreover, decaying atoms release energy which induces kinetic changes to its environment, affecting other atoms nearby. The motion of the atoms in our atmosphere is informed by the randomness of the Brownian motion. Although the way the atoms shape their streams and currents is exaggerated in this visualisation, "Van der Waals forces" induce similar effects in our atmosphere.

The first iteration of ATMOSPHERICA was built on top of a Processing sketch provided by Generative Gestaltung in order to get a feeling for the particles and their behaviour.

The second iteration focused on implementing rigorous interactive features. As a result, ATMOSPHERICA was rewritten and developed in vvvv, making use of the DX11 particles pack. The Kinect captured skeletal data about the interactants and allowed for manipulation of the particles, as they become radiation source themselves, causing dynamic changes to their environment. The behaviour is adapted from cloud chambers - an antique radiation visualisation device.

ATMOSPHERICA was my first attempt to embed interactive features utilising the Kinect. Adding the Kinect to a vvvv environment is not struggle-free, but was worth the while. I learned about skeletal tracking and about its constraints within the use of an interactive project.

Moreover, I was also new to the particles pack for vvvv, which excels at performance and object handling, even with large amounts of objects.