Meet ObE, A Living Installation With A Behavior Problem

This immersive audio/visual system seems to just do whatever it wants.

Last spring the MUTEK Festival and the Society for Arts and Technology [SAT] released DROMOS, an immersive experience based on the science of speed. Although the festival's central mandate is to promote the best of electronic music, it also runs the parallel mission of showing off the best in innovative audiovisual material. 

Fresh off the success of their first collaborative work and the glowing response from viewers and the media, Mathieu Le Sourd a.k.a Maotik, and Eric Raynaud, a.k.a Fraction, are back this Wednesday with a whole new interactive, living installation.


A residency at Montreal's SAT allowed the duo to take over the Satosphere for a second time and use the dome's 360 degree construction to give life to ObE, an imaginary entity whose erratic behavior is impossible to predict.

Born from the interplay between audiovisual art and interactive installation, ObE is a unique sensory experience. This hybrid production plunges the viewer into an auditory, visual journey that is experimental and organic. 

Alternating between chapters that are pre-determined by the artists and interactive ObE moments, the dynamic 35-minute framework facilitates an exploration of the work's ambient ecosystem. The project is the place where minimalistic, pared-down generative 3D visuals managed by Derivative by Touchdesigner, compositing, and 5.1 sound processing with electro-acoustic influences meet. They melt together and deliver the viewer to the heart of a destabilizing environment to discover ObE as a living digital organism. 

Technically-speaking, the project boasts a circular interface equipped with infra-red sensors controlled by Arduino and MAX/MSP which create the viewer's psychedelic experience. The viewer engages in an exchange with the art/being that is ObE, acting according to its visual, auditory flux. By moving a hand in the same way the theremin is played, the viewer can participate to the construction/deconstruction of the work of art. 

If you want the ObE experience, the project will be presented at the Society for Arts and Technology [SAT] in Montreal from the 15th of January to the 14th of February. 

For more on Maotik & Fraction check out our previous coverage below:

Get Lost In An Immersive Symphony Celebrating The Science Of Speed

All Photo credits: Sébastien Roy.