Wishing Wall

Photo by Andrew Meredith
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A piece that looks at re-imagining how we share our innermost wishes with the world. What if you could say your wish out loud and have it magically released into the world for people to see? In this piece spoken words are transformed into a butterflies, that are diverse in form and colour as they represent the sentiment of the spoken words. The gallery visitors are invited to interact with the butterflies and discover released wishes.

Our intention is to retain the magic around making a wish, and at the same time, slightly alter the traditional approach around it. Hence, our aim is to encourage saying a wish out loud and explore made wishes by playfully interacting with the butterflies. Yes, a spoken wish will turn into a butterfly. Each butterfly will carry a wish that can be released when one catches the butterfly or lets it to land on his/her arm.
In addition to that, we want to understand and also visualize the sentiment behind the spoken wish. The idea is to turn the feelings into the butterfly’s appearance. Since those insect are very colourful and in different size, it will be interesting to apply their attributes for representing different moods of wises.

We liked the idea to think of a metamorphoses of wish that was also an inspiration and reason for using butterflies in the piece. In addition to that, a butterfly is an insect that has a magical and beautiful appearance. Maybe that’s why people tend to catch and even collect it. Thus, metaphorically our installation does similar things: invites audience to catch butterflies, explore others’ wishes, and collects all wishes made.
Video documentation with explanations in audio:

The art piece is commissioned by Google and Barbican Centre, and is part of Digital Revolution exhibition.

Acknowledgements to Google Creative Lab team and Barbican for all the help and support to with the project. And also to Saif Mohammad, a researcher at the National Research Council Canada (NRC), who is the author of Word-Emotion Lexicon that we use for determining the colour of the butterflies after a text analysis of the wish.

- Digital Revolution in Barbican Centre, London, UK (3rd July – 14th Sep 2014)
- Digital Revolution in Tekniska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden  (Oct 14 – Aug 15)

See process of work and open source code and design in github.