CTBC BANK II – Circulum Formosa – Being Here
Circulum Formosa – Being Here is a digital interactive installation by DEM Inc., located in the lobby of the CTBC Bank headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan. Architecturally, the piece aims to augment the cavernous bank lobby; infusing it with natural elements, lling the enormous chamber with natural features, all while maintaining a sense of openness and space. The custom designed screens, soften the lobby’s angularity with light and simulated nature, and echo the vertical and horizontal lines of the space design.
To bring its vision to life DEM entrusted the Japanese art collective teamLab with the art and programming. Thematically features animals and sounds native to Taiwan, and incorporates the twelve Chinese Zodiac animals into its midst. The animals frolic on screens before you, responding to each visitor’s presence by warily moving towards the guest. Each month the animals change their location, and the installation evolves seasonally. Visitors trigger thunderstorms, bring rainbows to glowing life, watch a sunrise or a sunset, gaze at nocturnal sky lled with stars, or skip from lily pod to lily pod over a coy pond. The interaction, realism, and variety are unparalleled, making each visitor’s experience, and indeed each visit, unique and magical. Guests can wonder at a massive digital waterfall, or get lost in the forest of light and reections behind it, while listening to the delicate seasonal soundtracks composed exclusively for the installation.
To create this truly unique artwork, and to make its digital existence mimic life as closely as possible, an environment was conceptualized in which widely varied sources of data would create a sense of the organized randomness that is nature. Harnessing the complex interaction of sources from Big Data, pre-programed algorithms, and visitor input, an ever-evolving installation was created. The bank’s own moment-to-moment achievements, and visitors’ real time actions and presence, create a symbiosis, and this symbiotic relationship encapsulates the very existence of the institution.
Seven different areas and thirty-six individual surfaces, containing in excess of 35 million pixels, cover some 300 square meters of screens. However brute and nearly overwhelming the force and volume of data ow necessary to drive the hundreds of teraflops of calculations, they are all forgotten as they merge within the uid nature of the images rendered in the tranquil play of photons on the screens. The images blend and fuse classic west and east styles, creating watercolor-like textures owing with light; for light, rather than paint, is the medium here.
The installation is a response and acknowledgement to the ever growing gap between our real and digital lives. It celebrates the joy of allowing your senses to truly immerse and wonder at the world around you. It presents nature in its full glory, capturing it, and mimicking it digitally, all while being real, visceral and present. Virtual and yet corporeal. It is the un-VR. It’s all about Being Here.