Social Painting - Embrace the differences 2020, Germany, Weimar

An interactive projection space that leads to reflection of discrimination

Social Painting – embrace the difference - a game for everyone to overcome social prejudices and discrimination in a playful and artistic way. The interactive media installation provides a platform for communication and information between all kinds of people to ring them closer. Social Painting is an age-friendly and simple rules game, we can reach out to almost everyone. The interactive installation is not only interesting for participants, but it also includes the spectators through changing the colors of paths with tablets. To find out more and create a better future for society - jump on the playfield and start moving. Do not think black and white, play with color – embrace the difference.

We are living in a world in which discrimination is a daily challenge for many people. Common examples for anti-discrimination movements are the #blacklivesmatter or #LGBTQ+ movement. Especially in the current situation while we are trying to overcome the pandemic, Asian-looking people had to deal even with discrimination #IAmNotAVirus. We want to focus on the topic of discrimination in a playful and artistic way to visualize how it feels to be excluded and neglected. Based on this idea we created an interactive space with projections and Kinects. Through appearance-related questions, we are creating a starting point that we cannot change and is often the reason why people are being discriminated against. Our main goal is to overcome the worldwide social problem of exclusion and solve this through integration to finally reach complete inclusion. Through visualizing the exclusion in our communication spaces, we are trying to provide a platform that people are able to exchange experiences to prevent misunderstandings and prejudices, the main reason for discrimination.



Team members : Ruo-Xuan Wu, Ann Böttcher

Supervisor : Dr. Reinhard König, Dr. Sabine Zierold, Juan Carlos Carvajal B., Stefan Kraus (Bauhaus University), Matti Niinimäki (Aalto University)

Institution : Bauhaus University Weimar

Partners : Aalto University


Technical Concept : To create an interactive projection space, we used Kinects as our sensors to collect the distance data. Processing is the communication and blob detection software. By the OSC communication system, the location data of visitors was transferred to TouchDesigner and make the post-effect into different colors and shapes, also enable other tablets which in the same Wifi address to change the colors remotely. For the base construction and mirror mounts, we used common event truss elements. A base frame out of the different truss elements with dimensions of 18,5m x 21,5m includes an internal grid, approx. 3m x 3m. The base is suspended from the surrounding columns with 6 steel cables that also serve as bracing. Underneath the construction the 21 x 24m are installed mirrors. 63 mirrors consist of a 3m x 3m aluminum frame covered with prefabricated mirror-foil.

Visual Concept : We are using two shapes to differentiate between different appearances of players. The majority is assigned a "circle" that can draw in any direction and the colors of walking paths could be changed by spectators' tablets freely. The minority is given a "grey square" which is only able to draw back and forth in one direction. Through social painting, we are bringing people together and encouraging them to interact with each other. This can help overcome social prejudices and provide the opportunity to exchange their thoughts and ideas with strangers. The interaction between a neglected square and a circle is supported by a positive sound effect to give people another simple reason to achieve the goal of working together. The walking path changes into "emojis" after a successful match and the square and circle can draw together in all directions.


Ruo-Xuan Wu

Ruo-Xuan Wu / Ann Böttcher

Ruo-Xuan Wu / Ann Böttcher

Ruo-Xuan Wu / Ann Böttcher

Ruo-Xuan Wu

Ruo-Xuan Wu / Ann Böttcher