First Peoples, currently on exhibition at the Melbourne Museum in Victoria, Australia, tells the story of Bunjil: a mythic wedge tail eagle that Victorian Aboriginal tribes worshipped as "the essence of creation." Working with interactive design firm ENESS to expand on Bunjil's legacy, First Peoples features The Creation Cinema, a permanent installation and immersive multi-sensory experience that utilizes motion tracking and a massive kinetic sculpture to replicate the mythic eagle's winged formation.
Stepping into The Creation Cinema chamber, visitors are submerged in ambient sound, accompanied by the shape-shifting visuals of the installation. For authenticity, narration is provided by Aboriginal actors Jack Charles and Pauline Whyman.
Powered by a single Intel 17 PC, with projection content and software also fueled by Intel processors, the sculpture simulates the omni-present nature of creation and universal motion. Utilizing imagery of a perpetually undulating, color-morphing "feathered" wave, visitors are meant to be inspired in the same way Victoria's first inhabitants were by Bunjil's power.
Designed in CAD, and composed of a 7,000 lumen HD projector and 56 acrylic feathers, the sculpture will waft in suspension, continuously for the next 10 years, as it basks viewers in a transformative ambient glow.
In the video above, the artists and curators behind First Peoples and The Creation Cinema discuss the project's conceptualization, the importance of Bunjil to local Victorians, and how an idea goes from a flash on the screen to a full-scale installation.
First Peoples opens on 7 September 2013 at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum.
Photos courtesy of ENESS