Jelly Swarm

Jelly Swarm is an interactive art installation inspired by the luminescent jellies found off the coast of British Columbia, Canada.

Located in the Pacific Canada Pavilion gallery at the Vancouver Aquarium, Jelly Swarm features 94 carefully folded origami jellies, each containing an LED module, suspended from a reflective aluminum structure.

In the natural world, bioluminescent jellies glow when they’re disturbed. Jelly Swarm imitates that natural, reactive behaviour by allowing Aquarium visitors to surprise the origami jellies into creating beautiful patterns of colour and light. Move a hand across an interface on a plinth mounted touch screen, and the jellies respond.

When left undisturbed by the public, the origami jellies, programmed as independent objects, interact with their closest neighbours, creating generative luminescent displays.

Development & Build:
94 origami jellies made from Tyvek were laser cut and scored before folding. The Jelly Swarm structure was designed using Rhino 3D with Grasshopper and custom Visual Basic scripts. The resulting water jet cut 154 custom triangles and 430 connectors are fabricated from 2mm 6061T6 aluminum, anodized on both sides.

Lighting design and interactive was produced using a custom built Adobe Air application developed in Flash Builder. A bespoke ArtNet library implemented in Actionscript 3.0 sends data through an mbed based controller to the RGB LED light modules.

Commissioned by:
Rebecca Eames at Vancouver Aquarium.

Photos:
Mark Montgomery

A sign reading

Tangible Interaction's interactive Jelly Swarm display at The Vancouver Aquarium

A room full of bright pink origami jelly fish with a noticing crowd

Another picture of Tangible Interaction's interactive Jelly Swarm display at The Vancouver Aquarium with a noticing crowd.

A room full of brightly lit origami jelly fish in an aquarium

Another picture of Tangible Interaction's interactive Jelly Swarm display at The Vancouver Aquarium during the day.