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London gallery showcases academic's Olympic-inspired exhibit

Posted on 31/07/2012

The work of a Media Arts academic at Royal Holloway, University of London is being showcased at Waterman’s Gallery in Brentford to coincide with the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Going with the Flow is an interactive rowing installation by Gail Pearce, from the Department of Media Arts, which gives people the chance to have a go at rowing without getting their feet wet. It is part of the Watermans International Festival of Digital Art 2012 and will be showing until 19 August.

It offers the effect of a peaceful self-generated trip up the Thames, near Wraysbury, with the view changing according to how many people row, or how fast they make the seats move. With enough effort the user can 'see' underwater, or even get to Venice.

It was devised and shown originally at Royal Holloway in 2010 in response to the news that the College would become the official 2012 Rowing and Canoe Sprint Village. Thanks to the Cultural Olympiad the project became a reality.

The programmer is Sarah Angliss and in the first version of the project Wii technology was used. However the second version is simpler and uses sensors which create more intense results.

Gail said: "I sourced the half of an eight from the university rowing club, and developed the technology with the help of members of the Science departments here at Royal Holloway. As a landlubber I have enjoyed the effects I have created and have watched children vigorously getting the rowing bug as they try to get to the end of the river.”

View the video of Going with the Flow


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