In sanskrit, the word “Prana” describes the cosmic energy of the sun as well as the way in which energy enters our bodies through breath. With that relationship as our inspiration, we created PRANA, a physical installation that puts you at the center of a 12 foot sphere of LED lights that breathes with you. As the participant and the piece become one, the orb acts as an extension of the lungs.
The entire installation was prototyped, built, wired, and maintained by a core team of four B-Reelers, dozens of volunteers and PAs, and Upstage, who handled the drop ceiling rigging. The final piece is comprised of 13,221 LED’s, 14 FadeCandy controllers, over 2,500 of tubing, roughly 40,000 feet of wire, and an experimental radar sensor called the Xethru. Responsive sound design adds a second dimension to the piece and was engineered by our friends at One Thousand Birds.
Originally intended to last a week, the installation was extended twice, becoming the centerpiece for the gallery's summer programming, In The Glow of a Breathing Sphere, which included talks and musical performances by a variety of artists from cellists to cyborgs.
This same team also branded the experience and created a PR campaign with a website, a teaser video (below), posters, and social messaging that eventually landed PRANA attention across media and the industry, from Gothamist and Mashable to The Creators Project and Hyperallergic. It even hit a TV show in Luxembourg and Engadget did a video piece on our team.
After launch we created an open source code editor that allows artists and developers to create and submit their own custom animations. Submissions are tested at scale and incorporated If they look good, making this a communal ever-evolving piece that could potentially look different in every city it travels to.
CASE STUDY & IMAGES
Sound Design: One Thousand Birds
Sensor Donation: Xethru by Novelda
Managing Creative Director: Ben Hughes
Creative Director: Jonathan Vingiano
Art Director & Creator: Mike Potter
Tech Director: Eric Heaton
Developers: Charlie Clark & Joe Zhou
EP: Myke Gerstein
My Role: Senior Producer