Digital interaction you can't look away from

  • Web Design
  • September 18, 2014
  • Callum Sweeney
Digital interaction you can't look away from

If you are sick of “having your heart toyed with like a meaningless plaything” in the real world, you now have the opportunity to experience the very same thing in the digital realm, with Wellington/Amsterdam web savants Resn creating an interactive artwork to accompany the song ‘Look Away’ from SBTRKT’s soon to be released album, Wonder Where We Land

  • Listen to the track below or for the full experience click here.

In this audio-visual experience, users interact with a floating female head through their webcam. Using the latest WebGL (a Javascript programming interface for the rendering of 3D graphics), Resn was able to contrast moody black and white visuals with some full-colour distortions that occasionally flash across the screen. WebGL also enabled them to control the lighting on the face and make it appear as if it was "bleeding into darkness". 

"The core concept was that looking away would somehow change the experience. We also liked the idea of a hidden world, just out of sight. The idea grew from there. The client liked the idea and away we went," explains Resn's Justus Smith. From there it only took the took them two to three weeks to create it all. 

In a release from Resn they describe the experience as fun and slightly creepy.

It’s an emotional roller coaster. With your ears, you listen to the song. With your eyes, you watch the screen. With your webcam, you try to catch the attention of the disembodied head who may or may not be interested in you. Will you succeed? Probably not, but there’s only one way to find out. Look Away.

Resn has gained an international reputation for its interactive experiences, with the likes of Lifesize Messi, Toyota SponsafierEDF Lightgames, or Cheetos.

When we spoke with Annie Baxter, Google’s comms manager for Australia and New Zealand, she said the web was coming of age and was increasingly being used as a branding tool.

“Digital marketing started as a performance and direct response technology. Now it’s moving into brand. If you look at what browsers are now capable of, in terms of the graphics and sounds they can support, or the work The New York Times and The Guardian do, it’s beautiful. That’s a huge territory for brands to get into, to create those online experiences that people want to share and talk about because they are gorgeous and creative and use the medium to its full potential. It’s not just a dead screen. That’s why we have a Creative Lab and do Chrome Experiments [like Arcade Fire’s The Wilderness Downtown]. The idea is that there could be a nugget in there that a creative director or CMO sees that could work for a brand.” 

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  • Media
  • January 17, 2019
  • Elly Strang
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