Screaming Rapture is one hell of a public spectacle, a full body experience and a cleansing of the palette. As you approach Screaming Rapture, its large form broods silently, waiting for the right notes, the right voices to tease open it’s lidded eyes revealing the brilliant white gaze within. Someone shouts, a radiant luster escapes, flashing rapidly across the viewers. Pulsating luminous patterns set off murmurs in the crowd. As they begin to speak quietly, the fluttering grows, eliciting shouts and noise until wave upon wave of light splashes out across the audience. Finally, those who cannot bear to look anymore, close their eyes, shielding them with their hands.
Screaming Rapture was created for Vivid Sydney 2012. The artwork was very much inspired by the public response to Social Firefly at Vivid Sydney in 2011. Social Firefly was a small robot community that could communicate to one other using light. They each had a distinct personality, yet over time the whole community tended to develop communal or shared behaviour. It was emergent and beautiful to watch. Another emergent property of the artwork was the effect it had on visitors to the festival – we were baffled by the public’s insistence that the artwork was triggered by sound and thus we saw endless displays of shouting or clapping directed at the (deaf) robots up in the tree. It was quite a spectacle, and most interestingly it was repeated almost without fail, every night.
We figured, give the people what they want. Screaming Rapture is an outlet, a therapeutic experience, a place to vent and a place to do that which is so often forbidden in public. The Rapture is waiting to bathe you in the warm light of your voice. Come make some noise!
Destination NSW, Vivid Sydney Festival
Screaming Rapture is an artwork conceived and produced for the 2012 Vivid Sydney festival.
Frank Maguire, Liam Ryan and Jason McDermott
MaxMSP for audio processing, Servo motors for panel movement, Arduino to control the Servo motors.