V&A’s Venetian Mirror

Chris Sheldrake

If you are in anyway interested in interactivity then you have less than a week to get yourself to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London to catch the ‘Decode: Digital Design Sensations‘ exhibit before it closes on 11th April.


We thought that at least half of it was utter rubbish – much of the touch and gesture DOOH projects we have seen globally were better than what we saw here.

People didn’t know whether to touch, gesture, blow or just stare at many of the exhibits (and the fractal stuff was so 20 years ago) BUT we have to say that there was still a lot that was innovative and inspiring.

Our personal favourite was most definitely this Venetian Mirror. A camera placed behind the mirror grabbed your image and then s.l.o.w.l.y your picture (the image grabbed or being grabbed) would fade into view.

It was designed by Fabrica, based in Treviso, near Venice, Italy.

Fabrica is a communications research centre funded by the Benetton Group. It combines communication design with photography, film, music and the internet. Graduates include designers Ross Phillips and Jonathan Harris.

The Executive Director is Andy Cameron, who co-founded the art and design company Antirom in 1994 and went on to create the Hypermedia Research Centre at Westminster University.

There is definitely a lot at this exhibition that gives food-for-thought to interactive and creative designers but bottom line the industry has already done a LOT better than this out on the mean streets!!

One Response to “V&A’s Venetian Mirror”

  1. Pedro Says:

    Dear Chris,

    Thank you for this post. Some of the most interesting interactive artworks I saw, funny enough, at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Yet I am interested in this concept of digital sensation and I will def check the exhibition.

    I am an anthropologist working in a social project. At present, I am looking for creatives and digital artists who would like to join us and collaborate in our project. Basically, we’re a group of over 300 people of different cultures, continents, sexualities, generations etc who will be joined by a celebration taking place in different parts of the globe, every year, on the 25/04 at 3pm. Every member of our event will be finding their own way of celebrating the following idea:

    «Why not join us at one of the world wide gatherings of Chains of Difference and be part of ever growing chains of people joined by their differences, rather than similarities. The idea is to invite another person, having discussed their difference beforehand, and that person will invite another and so on. Differences are varied. If you’re American why not bring someone Portuguese? If you’re gay, why not invite a straight friend? If you’re 20 why not invite someone in their 60s? That is the all point of diversity: celebration of differences, not tolerance».

    We started month and a half ago, on Facebook. We are people from different countries and cultures (I’m Portuguese) and It took us some time thinking together what this event would be about. We are called ‘Chain of Differences’. Over the next few days members of ‘Chains’ will be posting their thoughts on our main page (Facebook) about how they will use this idea on the 25th at 15.00.

    There are really no set rules on how to put this idea into practice. It all depends on you are and how you like to see this coming true. Having the collaboration of creatives and people who work on digital media would be wonderful.

    Our virtual meeting point is a Facebook page called ‘Chains of Difference’ (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=312078576185).You can also visit my profile and trace the Chains page from there (Pedro Oliveira, you will find the ‘Chains’ link bellow my pic). Our real meeting point is anywhere and everywhere around the globe, for people who will put the party on, on the 25/04 at 15.00. We will then be sharing our experiences on Facebook, after the 25/04.

    Feel free to visit us, attach to our events page, invite others to do the same and even post our main page with your take on this idea for the 25/04. We have plenty of members who work on inter-cultural communication yet we would love to have the participation of more media, communication and creative people around the globe.


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