Described as a world in which Dr Who meets Darwin, Metazoa is an educational art and technology experience described by the the artist, Angela Main, as weaving ‘the mythical with the everyday in a tangible experience.’ Angela locates Metazoa within the ever-evolving tradition of participative art, incorporating ideas about adaptation and survival. Visitors to the Science Exchange explored the work in the RiAus Future Space.
Metazoa is a fabulous immersive interactive art installation that explores the evolutionary tree of life. Viewers participate in the artwork to move beyond their ordinary identities and become on-screen mirror images of themselves — first as protozoa (single celled organisms), then as more complex species, including plant animals, marine organisms, reptiles, birds, mammals and finally imaginary post-human forms. Participants will see their creature move and make sounds within its own habitat, alongside other species that evolved in the same era. During the later stages, participants collaborate to fit together an onscreen jigsaw puzzle which then propels them into the next environment, thus mimicking the cataclysmic events that initiate ecological shifts. Eventually they find themselves back at the beginning of the evolutionary cycle.
This innovative art and technology project is produced by new media installation artist Angela Main, working with HITlabNZ, a world-leading Human-Computer Interface research laboratory based at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. It exploits the latest research in augmented reality (in which virtual objects exist in a physical space) to create a unique and interactive experience. Angela draws on her original studies in zoology and psychology to create her work, and has collaborated with HITLabNZ on a series of installations that have toured nationally and internationally.
Watch videos from this event
Angela Main talks about Metazoa at RiAus
Chris Darwin and Angela Main discuss where humans fit within ecology and what they can do to become more adaptive