Interactive digital art is a fun and engaging way to get viewers involved with your work. The spectator is able to become part of the work, as sensors that detect heat, motion, or other types of changes in order to achieve a unique experience for each viewer due to licensing protocol. Today, we will be going over how to make interactive digital art, the different types of interactive digital art online, and exhibits where you can experience digital art for yourself.
Interacting with digital works
Museums, galleries, and offline digital art festivals are not new phenomena, but interacting with digital works in a physical environment is a reinvention of an old concept, and perhaps the most interesting aspect is that the gallery is interactive. Often the curators of digital art exhibitions showcase digital installations and projections, actively involving the external environment and viewers. Walls, objects, rooms, spaces, and entire buildings become «canvases» for digital art, which is made possible by powerful projectors and laser systems. For example, FLUIDIC — Sculpture in Motion, which is a physical point cloud formed by 12,000 spheres, changes under the influence of the viewer’s movements.
In order to create your own digital art interactive exhibit, you will need to begin by choosing software that is compatible with the type of art you want to create. Here are some popular software for interactive NFT art and digital art.
1. Leap Motion- your hands are the original universal interface. With their unprecedented hand tracking, you can reach into virtual and augmented reality to interact with new worlds. (https://www.leapmotion.com/)
2. Twine is an open-source storytelling tool for interactive fiction. (http://twinery.org/)
3. Isadora is a tool for artists, designers, performers who want to add video and interactive media to their performance projects. The software is an interactive media playback platform that combines a media server, a visual programming environment, and a video and audio processing engine. (https://troikatronix.com/)
4. Unreal Engine 4 is a complete suite of game development tools made by game developers, for game developers. From mobile games to high-fidelity AR and VR experiences to console blockbusters, Unreal Engine 4 gives you everything you need to start, ship, grow and stand out from the crowd. (https://www.unrealengine.com)
5. Processing is open-source software and a language for learning how to code within the context of the visual arts. Processing has promoted software literacy within the visual arts and visual literacy within technology. There are tens of thousands of students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists who use Processing for learning and prototyping. (https://processing.org/)
6. Unity https://unity3d.com All-in-one editor: Available on Windows and Mac, it includes a range of artist-friendly tools for designing immersive experiences and game worlds, as well as a strong suite of developer tools for implementing game logic and high-performance gameplay. (https://unity3d.com/unity/features/editor/art-and-designe)
The main aspects of interactive digital art
— Attention-grabbing: You want your exhibit to be so striking that people can barely look away. This includes day and night exhibitions as well as color palettes and lights.
— Sturdy/Durable: It would be a shame to put tons of work into your exhibition only for it to be destroyed by the elements or careless passers-by. Make sure to use durable materials that are meant to withstand time and visitors.
— Anti-theft: A giant exhibition full of colors and lights is unfortunately the perfect target for vandalism and theft. Ensure that your structure and artwork is secured tightly and safely.
— Hack-proof: Ensure that your code is not one that hackers can tap into to create their own effects.
— Interactive: Of course, the main point of an immersive art experience, your exhibit needs to be able to respond to guests based on their motions.
Immersive art experiences
Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return is an innovative and imaginative ‘fun-house’ based in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico. The unique art experience covers 20,000 square feet and was designed by the Meow Wolf collective. It is home to more than 70 rooms of immersive art, as well as secret passages and interactive light and musical objects that guests can play with. The storyline focuses on the Selig family, who disappeared after a forbidden experiment at their Victorian mansion.
City Museum — St. Louis, Missouri
Housed in the 600,000-square-foot former warehouse of the International Shoe Company, the St. Louis City Museum has a bit of everything – the world’s largest jungle gym, a 10-story spiral slide and a rooftop garden with stellar views of the city. Some 20 artists created the large-scale features of this interactive museum well before the term ‘immersive art’ became a thing.
ARTECHOUSE — Washington, DC
Washington’s ARTECHOUSE isn’t your typical art gallery. Instead, it’s an immersive, interactive space designed for showcasing experimental, large-scale installations by the world’s most cutting-edge artists. The company also operates spaces in New York City and Miami Beach.
Superblue is an art space that opened in Florida in 2021. This groundbreaking new venture is dedicated to producing, showing, and engaging the audience with experiential art. It was launched with art installations including an immersive environment by Es Devlin, transcendent digital experience by teamLab, and a light-based Ganzfeld work by James Turrell. The creators of this place transformed an unused 50,000 square foot (4,645 square meters) industrial building into a vibrant culture and art center that will serve not only the community in the region but aims to be an important spot on the international map of Contemporary art.
One of the most interesting aspects of interactive art is how diverse it can be. People of all ages are able to enjoy and interact with the art. It is not limited to age, race, gender, or geographic location. Starting an interactive project can be really exciting, but make sure to do your research and have fun with it!