BOREALIS ALTA | 2017
The beauty and power of the northern lights have fascinated people across the ages. While various cultures have told their own stories about the aurora borealis, researchers have been looking for a scientific explanation of the phenomenon.
This interactive exhibition brings together different stories about the northern lights and its magical qualities, focusing on experiences based on Sami myths about the northern lights.
In the “Journey” installation three interactive holographic displays describe the particles’ journey from the Sun to the Earth’s magnetic field creating the northern lights.
In the Sing to the Northern Lights installation visitors can experience a Sami narrative that says that conflicts can be solved by invoking the aurora through song. People are challenged to keep the beat and emulate the joik (a traditional type of Sami song) that they hear in the headset. The northern lights come alive on the screen by joiking. When two people sing at each other from opposite sides of the installation they engage in a “joik-off” where their aurora battles with the other player’s while creating strong streams of light.
On the Wave to the Lights installation Kinect sensors track multiple visitors, allowing them to create and play with the northern lights as they wave to the starlit projected sky. Custom-made sound effects are triggered by the different types of northern lights created and ethereal figures of maiden’s dead souls surprise the visitors that have waved the most.
A 10-track original soundscape is heard throughout the exhibition creating an immersive experience.
Borealis Alta is located in the Northern Lights Cathedral, in Alta, Norway.
Developed by Expology
Client: Borealis Alta AS
My role: concept developer and lead designer.
I was responsible for developing the exhibition’s concept: from visualizations and storytelling to scenography, interactive installations, UX and UI design, animations, content, visual identity and web design. I was responsible for creating strong, engaging interactive experiences around the northern lights, both from the scientific and mythical perspective.
I worked closely with a very talented team including an interior designer, developers and creative technologists during the whole process resulting in custom-made installations with particle systems, voice analysis and motion tracking in real-time.