The Zymphonic Wormhole is a large-scale collaborative installation created to simulate the experience of passing through a galactic wormhole. A wormhole is a theoretical passage through space, creating shortcuts for long journeys across the universe. The Zymphonic Wormhole was a Burning Man 2014 honorarium art installation where we used a zipline passing through a shell of ropes woven to form catenary curves — with interactive sound and lighting — to create the experience.
Here is the Youtube video of the installation. We thank Burning Man for the grant that made this installation possible.
The Zymphonic Wormhole celebrate the emergent, layered symphony in light and sound generated by traces of fearless adventurers thrusting themselves out into the great unknown — adventurers for whom what they would experience is as unimaginable to them as it would be to us modern humans, if we were to boldly fling ourselves towards new worlds in outer space through a wormhole.
The 2014 Burning Man theme “Caravansary” explored the rich cultural exchanges brought about by mercantile adventurers on the silk road — creating a swirling exchange of ideas that shaped every aspect of the modern world — so too does the Zymphonic Wormhole. For us, space is the final frontier, where no man has gone before, and the wormhole, the new silk roads upon which we voyage into the future.
With this project, we sought to create that ineffable moment where the traveler sits on the cusp of unknown adventure, falling free into the future; by virtue of their very movement creating the road upon which they traveled, and having landed, looking back to experience the cumulative wonder of a road transformed by so many fellow wild-eyed adventurers.
To create this installation, we first developed a 3D model, used to create the precise curvature of the catenary curves. Interactive sound and lighting were generated using a Kinect to detected movement, and then generate thunderous sound and lightning that followed participants as they threw themselves in to the wormhole.