Thesedays I have been dabbling in bringing together different mediums such as sound, video, theatre and performing arts to deliver immersive experiences, sometimes in theatres, sometimes in public spaces, galleries or museums. I am kind of drawing on my experience from working in the games industry, 5 years doing graphics for games. Now it was time to apply that knowledge of immersing the viewer inside your world. It was time for art to meet technology and spirituality, to create a digital, interactive installation.
Over the past few years, aside from painting murals on the side of buildings, I have been exploring how art can wrap around a cube structure, not as four individual paintings on each face of the cube, but rather how one piece of art unravels around each corner. I’ve painted these cubes in places like Sweden, Oman and the UK, where the cube have sat in public squares. I then explored how i could spin the cube in front of a live audience, bringing all four faces of the cube to the viewer, hence he ‘Spinning Cube’ was born, where i painted live as a performance – collaborating with a poet and musican as part of the ‘live experience’
Whilst i was painting one of my cubes, i overheard a girl ask her father, ‘Dad whats inside the cube?” Thats how the DreamCube was born. Where the viewer could enter inside the cube. We always ponder whats inside a box? The box always contains something, presents are wrapped inside of a box, jewels are kept inside of a box… So it was time to take the audience inside of the box and take them somewhere away from the world.
To sum it up – its a digital sound and visual experience, that is interactive. The audience upon entering the cube, is transported into another dimension to create an intimate experience, using the right lighting, combined with sound and visuals to create a unique experience. The user, once inside, is encouraged to respond in two ways: a) Choosing a marker pen provided to scribe their visions of the future onto the walls b) Tweet their visions of the future onto the hashtag #DreamCube, communicating with people globally, as well as the tweets being projected onto a screen inside of the cube for others to see that enter inside. (Check out the tweets that came through > )
The concept of the ‘Dream Cube’ was inspired by Martin Luther Kings speech – ‘I have a dream…’ The need to dream, the need to hold onto our dreams and visions and work towards fulfilling those dreams. So i wanted to give people the space to Dream of whatever they wanted, to make their dreams public, no matter how random they were. Inside the cube, you can hear the poets voices echoing phrases like ‘What is your dream?” ‘Hold onto your dreams’, ‘Express your inner-thoughts and visions’.
It took many months of editing sound and video to create the video/soundtrack that people saw and heard upon entering. I recorded sounds and video from 6 different artists from around the world to contribute to the experience.
The poets and lyricists were as follows:
Tshaka Campbell (USA)
Shinji Moriwaki (Malaysia)
David J Pugilist (UK)
Mark Gonzales (USA)
MC Conrad (UK)
Liza Garza (USA)
Omar Esa (UK)
How the arts combined with technology can truly touch the human soul, was something very powerful to witness. I spoke to people upon stepping out of the cube, that were visibly moved and sometimes emotional. People spoke of how the closed space inside forced them to reflect on the sights and sounds witnessed, and made them feel things they had never felt before. Human beings want to express themselves, want to write their words and project their inner thoughts – but never have the space to do so. Here inside this cube was the rare opportunity to do so, either anonymously scribing their words literally onto the walls – or digitally into the virtual world-wide-web. It is an innate part of human nature to leave your mark and project your visions. The DreamCube allowed people to do that, to ‘Think Inside of the Box’.
The DreamCube has since taken place in other cities in Malaysia and is planned to appear in the UK and the USA.