‘Reclaim Wonder’: An immersive installation that captures the beauty of the open internet
Mozilla’s Reclaim the Internet event at the Alte Münze in Berlin, happening Oct. 12 to 16, features an immersive journey that invites people to act, build and choose to reimagine our digital future. The journey includes three art installations where visitors can explore how reclaiming the internet will help us take back expression, inspiration and wonder online.
Below is a preview of the installation “Reclaim Wonder,” created by the Spatial Media Lab Collective led by Stefan Kraus. You can click the following links to read about the other two installations: “Reclaim Expression” and “Reclaim Inspiration.” Reserve free tickets to all three exhibits here.
At a time when it can feel like we’ve lost control of our digital lives, it’s easy to forget about all that’s wonderful online. The interplay of elements that brings people together can seem like a messy web of numbers and data, instead of a well-orchestrated symphony of technology that makes meaningful connections possible.
Therein lay the challenge for the Spatial Media Lab Collective, which was tasked to bring the invisible beauty of the open internet to life. The group came up with the exhibit “Reclaim Wonder,” a reflection of what Mozilla imagines to be a digital future where people continue to be awed by all the good that the internet can offer.
Visitors can expect to walk into a room filled with fog and 16 transparent LED screens that show slices of a virtual sculpture. They’ll encounter light and sound signals, which will unite, disperse and grow with each human interaction.
“People will be immersed in this structure, and the light plays with their bodies as they see other [visitors] while a harmonic soundtrack plays,” explained Stefan Kraus, who produced the installation as a member of the Spatial Media Lab Collective. “We’re reminding them that however technical the internet is, it’s made up of humans. We all contribute to it.”
In addition to working with the Spatial Media Lab Collective, Stefan is an educator who cofounded The NODE Institute, which offers courses for creative technologists. His teaching experience, as well as his wide-ranging background as a VJ, 3D animator and architect helped inform his approach to manifesting the beauty of the internet. He wants people to walk away from the exhibit inspired to see beyond their computer screens, realize what’s possible when they rethink their relationship with the web.
“I want us to break free from algorithms and connect with others in a more meaningful way,” Stefan said. “For me, the internet is a source of inspiration, a place to network and share and gain knowledge. It’s very technical in nature, but that’s the beauty of it.”
Mystery isn’t always a bad thing, especially if it inspires wonder and curiosity. That’s what Stefan hopes for the future of the internet: “Even if people don’t completely understand it, the internet should be a place for connection, surprise and discoverability, even of things that are not chosen and streamlined for you.”