This Glowing Quicksilver Blob May Look Like CGI, But It’s Real

Hovering in the middle of the room, this amorphous, color-shifting blob looks like a CGI effect: the warp core of a faster-than-light spaceship, perhaps, or the entry portal to a stargate. Unlike a CGI effect, though, you can reach out and touch the Anima. It’s a glowing, two-meter sphere that uses light and sound to explore its relationship with the room in which it is contained.

A key aspect of the Anima is that the animation on the surface of the sphere, as well as the sounds it emits, are influenced by the movements of the viewer in the room. Inside the Anima is a wide-angle projector and a fisheye lens, which bends trippy, T-1000-style animated textures of a viscous metallic fluid so that they seem to swim across all 360-degrees of the translucent surface. Eerie, otherworldly tones modulate throughout the exhibition space, reacting in the timber of their oscillation according to how people move around the Anima.

The Anima was made by Berlin-based studio Onformative, previously responsible for the floral wallpaper based on Facebook posts, and this experiment on using Google Maps to explore pareidolia.

Initially commissioned for the Amsterdam Dance Event, the Anima installation has since toured and exhibited at various galleries and events in the Netherlands and Berlin such as TEDxDelft, the Kantor Art & Technology festival, and the Van Gogh Museum. You can keep up with where it’s going next here.JB