Filippo Vanucci | Machinema


Big interactive screen
IAC Building, New York, 2009

Machinema is an interactive digital animation designed for the 120 feet screens at The IAC building in Chelsea, New York.

An ecosystem of mechanical and natural elements comes to life on the screens with the spin of a big physical crank. The project explores the connections/tensions between digital and analog, between natural and industrial, revealing the living spirit in the machine and the mechanical cycles in nature.

Machinema creates a digital representation/illusion of a dynamic system of gears arranged to transfer rotational torque from one part of a mechanical system to another across the entire wall/screens. This continuous mechanical system is setting the movement of all the natural elements on the screens (the birds, waves, clouds, cranes, horses etc.). In addition, a pulley mechanism lifts a digital sun and determines the day cycle (from sunrise to sunset). The gradual increase of light as the sun rises up on the big screens affects the illumination of the entire IAC hall, creating a live simulation of the quiet daily passage from darkness into light and back into darkness.

The project was presented at the Big Screens show in December 2009 and at the ITP Winter Show 2009. Special thanks to: Daniel Shiffman, Chris Kairalla, Adam Lassy.

Graphic Design
Animation Editing
Software Development
Physical Computing
Featured on PBS-FRONTLINE in the thought provoking documentary “Digital Nation” by Douglas Rushkoff and Rachel Dretzin. Available on PBS’s website (see Chapter 9, “Where Are We Headed?”):
Concept, Design and Development:
Filippo Vanucci and Adi Marom