Bruch - An Interactive Installation about the Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Syria

edited June 2016 in Share Your Work

This was a work from last year, wholly done in Processing. It was the first bigger project for me and has been a really great experience, especially working together with people from other fields such as architecture and communications design.

The interactive installation Bruch (in engl.: crack) makes visitors feel the destruction of millenniums-old artifacts and therefore Syrian cultural history itself. A lone showcase is situated in the middle of the room - its glass destroyed, its content missing - highlighted only by a dim spotlight. Mirroring the shape of the showcase, gauze screens are positioned within some distance around it. Visitors walking towards the real showcase are thereby entering another, virtual scenario made out of gauze on which virtual glass is projected. Upon entering, the glass begins to crack at the position of the visitor. If they come closer to the gauze screen it breaks, revealing images of destroyed artifacts and buildings, illicit excavations and videos of Daesh destroying cultural artifacts.

Three Microsoft Kinect V2s - mounted on top of the gauze screens - track the visitors in real time using a custom made tracking tool which feeds its data to the animation. Here, Voronoi Diagrams are calculated and only shown when the visitor stands in front of the gauze screen giving the impression of glass cracking at his or her position. Box2D, a Physics Engine for Games, is used to let the glass drop slowly to the ground or explode in a sudden burst when the visitor gets too close to the screen.

This interactive installation was presented as part of an archaeological exhibition „Tell Genderes - 20 Meter Menschheitsgeschichte“ about the Syrian settlement mound Tell Genderes ( The exhibition took place during 12/2015 and 01/2016 in the BildungsTURM Konstanz in Konstanz, Germany and was a result of an ongoing cooperation between the University of Konstanz and the HTWG Konstanz.

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