A new art installation in Yamaguchi City, Japan, can be viewed online by people around the world — and also controlled by them. The exhibit, called Avatars, is made up of 16 different objects equipped with cameras, microphones, and microcomputers that allow them to be operated remotely over the internet.
After logging into the installation’s standalone website, users can choose to view the exhibit from the perspective of any of the available avatars, which include a traffic cone, a statue, a Roomba, and one of those blow-up dancing guys you see at car washes. Visitors can then “ride” the objects, or move them around the gallery space. Built-in sensors prevent the avatars from crashing into each other.
“Against the backdrop of the age of IoT, where all kinds of things are connected through networks, and artificial intelligence is about to mature, this work observes the new relationships that emerge when inorganic, non-autonomous objects transform into persons that act and perceive the world according to their own intentions,” a description of the exhibit reads.
Avatars was created by So Kanno and yang02. If you’re on the East Coast, you’ll have to wait until later tonight to try it out; the exhibit is only open from 10AM until 7PM local time. It’ll be at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media until May 14th, 2017.