The creative side of information technology went on display in London this week, in an arresting new interactive show including glowing reeds and a blinking mechanical eye.
"Decode: Digital Design Sensations" at the Victoria and Albert Museum puts a new face on binary codes and algorithms with 35 artworks ranging from small screen-based graphics to large installations.
Far from the 'don't touch' approach of many exhibitions, visitors here are encouraged to engage with the show, which starts with beds of artificial reeds topped with LED lights which glow and sing as people brush past them.
A digital tree portrayed on one wall shakes as you walk up to it, dropping 'leaves' onto the floor which then move with your feet as you step past.
And a graphic video of a dandelion in a field has a hairdryer nearby which, thanks to the infrared light concealed inside, can be used to blow off the dandelion seeds and scatter them into the virtual air.
Elsewhere, a human-sized mechanical eye follows the gaze of the viewer, blinking one second after they blink.
Outside, in the courtyard of the museum, is an installation made up of a matrix of light panels, each containing a camera that detects the presence of visitors and echoes their image across the pond.
"Decode" runs at the V&A museum in London until April 11, 2010.
(c) 2009 AFP
Explore further: Pacemakers with Internet connection, a not-so-distant goal