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EMPAC

They Watch Interactive Installation

Tools

CANVAS, Unreal Engine

Thomas Soetens and Kora Van den Bulcke, the co-founders of Immersive Design Studios, were commissioned by New York’s Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center to create the interactive installation They Watch.

Aiming to redefine the concepts of presence, representation, and identity between virtual and physical spaces, Soetens and Van den Bulcke leveraged CANVAS technology to create a full 360-degree environment in which the observer becomes the observed.

As visitors explore the installation, their movements are tracked by a virtual camera, activating two digital characters on a panoramic screen. These characters spontaneously follow, approach, and retreat in response to visitors’ behavior, ultimately creating a unique experience for each visitor and a symbiotic physical and virtual realm.