Most infinity rooms, like the starlit and polka dotted universes of Yayoi Kusama, are constructed like a funhouse filled with mirrors. They simulate an endless universe through infinite reflection. But a new project by Refik Anadol, on display at Istanbul’s Zorlu Performing Art Center, creates an alternate universe using a fresh technique: pixel projection.
The 12-minute work, simply titled Infinity Room, uses 3-D projection mapping to illuminate the walls of a white room, with careful consideration of its geometry ensuring the images don’t stretch or warp oddly along the surface. This allows the projection and architecture to blend seamlessly, blurring the physical world and the digital one.
While Infinity Room still uses at least two mirrors (the floor and ceiling both appear to be reflective), Anadol’s intent is to create “a perception of presence in a non-physical world.” His work is essentially a taste of how projects like Microsoft’s RoomAlive projection system or the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset will fundamentally expand the boundaries of how people experience reality.
Or, if you aren’t so optimistic, trap us all inside a prison of pixels with no obvious path to the exit.