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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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The HoloCube and the idea of the fragmented performance — Work in Progress Show

The HoloCube and the idea of the fragmented performance — Work in Progress Show

Before the cube

The main question of my project has been how modern stage technology and possibilities of interaction can be used to bridge the physical gap between the stage and the audience area. Holographic illusions and their ability to appear and disappear have been a vital part of my research towards this question. Throughout this research process, my “stage” has moved site many times – from the classic stage layout to taking the performance away from an actual stage and placing it in a public space. Taking the performance into unusual and unexpected environments. 

This has inevitably lead to the question if a certain performance could be split up into individual parts and if those parts could even happen in different locations.

The HoloCube and the idea of the fragmented performance



  • Two way mirrors
  • Projectors
  • Lights
  • Hologauze by Holotronica
  • Fun and talented people

There are two approaches to this project. First, it is about an object that has a certain fascination about it but does not show any purpose and does not need a specific site. The clean, cubic shape with its mirrored surfaces is not an everyday object. It is a rather unusual entity with an almost mystical and abstract look. It does not move, it does not sound, it is just there. It exists like a small monument in its space and visitors only find out the cube’s purpose on encounter. One could say the audience is invited on stage.

The interaction with the four mirrored sides of the cube reveals its inner life and each side starts telling its story.
This is where the second element joins in; the idea of the fragmented performance rearranged by the audience to form an individual and unique experience with each side of the cube being a separate site defining its own space.

The four mirrors – when triggered in the right way – reveal the holographic content and a unique story starts to take shape. This story is about appearance and disappearance.

In this first version of the HoloCube each of the four sides holds the holographic face of a carefully chosen character of whom each has their own way of telling a story and interacting with the visitor. For the cube to become fully alive it needs the audience to band together and create a combined interaction. 

Depending on how the audience teams up and triggers the faces, the combination of stories is new and unique each time. The audience triggers and can even decide how and if the different stories and the different words of the stories come together and form a new experience or if they just enjoy each character on its own.

For this HoloCube experience, I have used stories and sentences that are easy and simple to understand on their own, but when cut up and mixed create something more complex. 

Side 1 tells the “Crocodile Song” nursery rhyme.

Side 2 repeats the alphabetic sentence of “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” in multiple ways and rhythms.

Side 3 complements one and two with fill-in statements and expressions.

Side 4 is mainly silent but has a lot of facial expressions and a strong focus on the person in front of it.

The various arrange- and rearrangement of these four elements can lead to very amusing but also rather confusing or surprising combinations. However, each side is also very enjoyable on its own.


The continuation of the cube

The use of simple cut-up stories and their rearrangement is definitely an interesting start; verbal language as such has a lot more to offer, however I will also explore how musical performances (for example harmonic overtone) could be fragmented and distributed to different locations.

The location itself can also be explored in more detail. Whether the fragments are close together in an object or if they are spread across a whole city with each fragment having its own very specific site will also be part of my further research.



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