You, Me, Things — Experimenta

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Uyen Nguyen, Max Piantoni and Matthew Riley
You, Me, Things

Wurundjeri Country
Melbourne, VIC, Australia


You, Me, Things is a playable, sound-responsive installation that invites audiences to ‘feed’ a fantastical virtual world with their non-verbal sounds. Different sounds bring various digital entities into existence, and the more that audiences interact the more dynamic and vibrant the virtual ecosystem becomes.

The participant triggers the work to ‘listen’ to sounds that are made into the microphone. Non-verbal expressions such as whistling, laughing and humming are recognised and categorised as a form of audio input, and then visualised in this virtual environment as an animated ‘lifeform’. Each ‘lifeform’ has its own sonic and visual identity appearing as strange flora, fauna and fungi, which establishes a diverse ecology of movement, animation and sound as each digital entity is called into this world to co-exist with one another. As the world becomes increasingly populated, unique relations and assemblages between the digital entities are formed. Sounds made by one type of entity layer and converge with others to form different compositions and atmospheres. Participants build the work’s sonic relationships through their choices with each sound input changing the audio-visual composition of the work. The world propagates, thrives and decomposes – its multiple lifecycles creating diverse and ever-changing relations and connections. Sounds and movements of the entities and the human interactors who call them into existence layer and converge with one another, turning the gallery into a dynamic and playful performance space.

You, Me, Things draws on the opportunities afforded by computational systems to learn and adapt autonomously with data sets. The installation invites physical participation where our bodies bring the work into being through interaction, encouraging affinities and bonds, joy and affection through play. While the world is constructed by this attunement, its logic can also become unsettled, not least because it reminds us of the impact we are having upon real world ecosystems around us. You, Me, Things is a playful world, while also subject to an uneasy precariousness.

The artists acknowledge the support from: School of Design, RMIT University

The Artist
Uyen Nguyen, Max Piantoni and Matthew Riley

Uyen Nguyen, Max Piantoni and Matthew Riley create experimental playable works using games, art, animation and installation for exhibitions, festivals, events and research.