About the Author

Sebastian Walter
CEO
sebastian[at]picaroon.eu

Sebastian is an entrepreneur and innovator who's passionate about theories and concepts behind given mechanics. He is also keen on experimenting with new technologies, such as 3D Printing, and puts them into a different context.
 

Picarøøn Blog

Entering the magic circle

By Sebastian Walter With a great number of exciting events coming up, we started to construct a platform onto which we would position our cylinders. One reason being all the cables and electronics conveniently hidden under the floorboards, another one that we could fix the cylinders with heavy bolts so that they can’t be tipped over. Now, building a platform is a pretty straight forward process – we use heavy goods pallets as a base, it weights 400kg and can support a load of up to 24.000 kg, our model builder tells us.

But there was something else we did by building a platform, we created our own magic circle – despite it being rectangular. A barrier you need to cross in order to enter the unknown. In literature and movies this is known as ‘crossing the threshold’ - a part of a pattern called the monomyth. The point where the hero actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world. In Star Wars this is Luke leaving the farm he grew up at and travelling to Mos Eisley, in Lion King it is Simba exploring the mysterious graveyard he was told not to enter, just to name two examples.



In our case, this is the boundaries of the world we want to create. The obstacle is not huge, but it requires the audience to step out of the ordinary surrounding and into our installation. The sensory ranges of our units all lie within the boundaries of the platform, you can’t participate if you do not enter. This is our magic circle, an agreed upon reality where there is different rules where it is okay to believe. This is why you need to cross an archway to enter the magic world when you want to enter Disney Land – even in a car.



This is quite an introduction for a simple wooden platform made of pallets, but here is the twist: During our test runs we noticed that stepping onto the platform means you connect to the people within the installation rather than the ones standing outside. We noticed that people almost never communicate if they are not all within or outside our installation. Conversely, all people within the project seemed more likely to talk and experience a sense of connectedness even if they did not know each other. This would be exactly what we wanted to do in the first place, bring people together and connect them. Luckily, we will be able check this theory soon. More than 120 sensors track every movement on the platform so that we will soon be able to analyse movement patterns and heat maps on the platform. It would be interesting to see a certain social behaviour triggered by the bond created through a collective experience.




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