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Fall 2010: Thirsty World

February 1, 2011

Thirsty World is an investigation into water quality and quantity issues—globally, regionally in the Great Lakes area, and locally in Chicago. This multi-layered story is told across a variety of media and strives to re-imagine how a book may be used as a tool for education and inspiration.

Thirsty World, book & multi-media installation, 7" x 10", 2010

A book serves as the interface for an immersive audio & video experience within an exhibition space or similar learning environment. The reader engages with the book using a “searchlight”—an ultraviolet illuminator mounted with a small camera. Atop the regularly visible content of the book is an added layer of text and images printed in ultraviolet inks. This layer of content is invisible until illuminated with the “searchlight.” The reader participates in a game to seek out particular symbols and encounters playful images and stories on the way. When these marker symbols are found, the camera identifies each as a unique trigger to activate the related audio & video events in the room.

Just one of many video components activated by the Thirsty World book—this is the story of Chicago’s growth and significant historical and architecture moments along the shores of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. Using no words at all, enjoy 10,000 years of history in just 75 seconds!



Outside the exhibition context, the book is fully functional as a standalone design object, rich with its own layers of content and imagery. However, this extension of the book’s purpose—as a means to engage with the content more broadly and deeply through motion and sound—intends to increase the value and power of the book through the reader’s memory of and participation in the engaging interactive experience.

Book details:

Thirsty World, book & multi-media installation, 7" x 10", 2010

Thirsty World, book & multi-media installation, 7" x 10", 2010

Thirsty World, book & multi-media installation, 7" x 10", 2010

Thirsty World, book & multi-media installation, 7" x 10", 2010

Thirsty World, book & multi-media installation, 7" x 10", 2010

Thirsty World, book & multi-media installation, 7" x 10", 2010

Thirsty World, book & multi-media installation, 7" x 10", 2010

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Matthew Wizinsky
MFA Graduate Student

University of Illinois
AD456 Embedded Media & Physical Computing & AD510 Advanced Studies in Graphic Design & Critique
Professors Daniel Sauter & Matthew Gaynor

video: Drew Mausert-Mooney / editing: Matthew Wizinsky

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