Lars Jan’s HOLOSCENES project makes waves

The Fellow’s retreat in Whistler, Canada, has been a great opportunity to catch up on works-in-progress. Lars Jan, for example, very recently hit a major milestone towards making his project HOLOSCENES – a performance piece that will incorporate live performers performing crowdsourced tasks in aquariums filled with rising and falling water – a reality. Here, he tells us about what we’re seeing in the video above.

What are we looking at?

This is a chemical container with a performer inside it, connected to a hydraulic system that makes the water go up and down. It’s a prototype for HOLOSCENES, which is about flooding and global warming, the future of empathy and long-term thinking. (Read more about HOLOSCENES on the TED blog – Daily rituals performed in a flood: A TED Fellow is crowdsourcing rituals for a unique performance.)

Where did you put this together?

This was a proof of concept workshop at EMPAC in upstate New York which helped us figure out the hydraulic design and get performers in different levels of water. We were, for the first time, able to test various technical systems and worked with performers in 7 tons of moving water. Here, performer Geoff Sobelle is simulating video of an “everyday behavior” submitted through an open-submission process from collaborators around the world. In this case, the video submission was from a student making ramen in his dorm kitchen in Tokyo.

What’s the next stage?

Now we’re ready to fabricate an aquarium and we’re going to perform it in October 2014 Toronto in 2013 for 12 hours straight, and in 2015 we’re going to do three aquariums in San Francisco for 24 hours a day, over seven days.