Reflect is a Virtual Reality artwork that also works on the web. It is a virtual representation of the physical world that places users inside a gallery space. This space encapsulates an assemblage of point lights that float around and fluctuate as chemicals that react with each other. We combined two mechanisms stemming from two different biological species into the behavior of the lights. The result is a system of participatory lights adaptive to other participants’ positionality and other world objects. Reflect is a place for internet users to visit, move inside it, interact with its lighting system, and together with other users can apply changes to the colors of the world. This project encompasses a multi-user experience inside a dynamic environment and follows a naturalistic perspective in the design of its interactions.

You can experience it here

The motivations behind the design of Reflect’s interaction system derive from inspiration found in nature’s biological systems. Our project worked with two biological systems: a firefly’s lighting mechanism, known as bioluminescence, and a chameleon’s color adaptation mechanism. Like how a firefly produces light by a chemical reaction inside its body[Strogatz, 2015, p.37], each light in our system changes its intensity or luminosity based on a chemical reaction system algorithm. The programming for the changes in luminance relies on a set of reaction rules found in a prey-predator system of chemicals. They derive from the Lotka-Volterra differential equation