Biotopes – An interactive Bar Table

Biotopes (Interactive Bar) (2004: Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman with the production of Ars Electronica Futurelab) is an interactive installation for cafe-like social venues. The Biotopes Interactive Bar forms the natural habitat of a species of creatures that exhibits a unique pattern of social behavior. When someone touches the surface of their virtual terrarium, these digital organisms react with playful curiosity. They flock to drinking glasses placed in their vicinity like hungry sharks, and teem around everything that enters their world. But have no fear: they don’t bite. If you catch one with your fingers, it will follow your movements, and you can send it on in any direction and from table to table. Left alone, the creatures descend back into the depths of their digital environment. In this way, the colorful organisms become part of a communicative game involving the users of the Interactive Bar, whereby the flow of communication extends throughout the individual terrariums and creates an interconnection among the participants.

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