Co.Design

A Movie Theater's Walls, Broken Into Thousands Of Pulsating Pixels

Watch the walls of the Hyper-Matrix ripple to life in this clip.

Just when it seemed like Kanye West’s Cannes-debuted 7-screen cinema was a lock for the craziest experimental theater experience of the year, the Seoul-based collective Jonpasang unveiled the Hyper-Matrix, a sort of movie theater of the future where the walls themselves come to life. The group covered three faces of a Korean theater with thousands of motorized cubes, all of which pulse into glorious, larger than life patterns. The effect is sort of the same as those space-warping digital projection mapping shows, expect in the Hyper-Matrix, the warping is actually happening.

Created for the Hyundai Motor Group Exhibition Pavilion at the 2012 Yeosu EXPO in Korea, the Hyper-Matrix is comprised of a steel scaffolding and thousands of lightweight, 300mm x 300mm cubes, each attached to its own stepper motor. A choreographed routine makes the pixels pump in and out, creating rippling arrows and pulsating grids. It looks a little like being trapped inside some sort of monochromatic Tetris nightmare.

Of course, when all the cubes are sucked in flat, the Matrix can serve as a regular old panoramic projection surface--the clip above shows a video involving cars and a lot of swooping, soaring natural beauty--but somehow that seems a little bit stale after, you know, you were just watching the walls move.

Animated gif by Designboom

But what I’d really like to see is the two combined--a digitally mapped projection working in concert with the pulsating pixels on the Hyper Matrix’s walls. Imagine that scene from the end of the first Matrix movie where the skyscraper buckles from the impact of the helicopter--and now imagine the screen itself buckling along with it. Or, if the Matrix/Hyper-Matrix combo is a little too much for you, just imagine the vertiginous patterns you see in the video above…with color.

The Jonpasang team, comprised of Jin-Yo Mok, Sookyun Yang, Earl Park, Jin-Wook Yeo, and Sang-Wook Yu, installed the Hyper Matrix in May for the start of the Expo, which ran through the middle of last month. Here’s to hoping we haven’t seen the last of it.

Stepper motors are set into a metal grid; these push and pull the styrofoam blocks that serve as pixels.

[Hat tip Creative Applications]

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