BeHere

Dave Webb

United Kingdom
Interactive Award

BeHere is a web based experience to transport many viewers together, through their own mobile device screens, on a journey. While it uses web technology, it is 100% offline and location specific, and relies on proximity and cooperation with others. The installation’s display is the aggregated screens of all the visitors own mobile devices that are connected at any point in time. Visuals elements flow from one screen to another in a loop. There are a number of visual themes that form a narrative, and visitors are free to leave and join at any point.

There is no central display, just a wireless network and web address that the visitors must join. So in fact the installation is invisible until people join. As more people join with their devices, the richer the experience will be, and the more the effect of a single, joined-up display is reinforced.  Most modern devices with a browser can participate. The visuals are tuned so as not  to assume huge performance in each device. The power of the experience comes from the joined-up display across all the screens.

The installation itself demands physical presence in one place side by side with others. The visuals are designed to transport you all to another place, together.  This inverts the usual situation where technology enables us to feel connected with people elsewhere, but actually isolates us from the people immediately around us. 

Hardware:

  • D-link wifi router, 
  • Raspberry Pi zero and Blinkt LED’s (for status only, not material to the work), 
  • Visitors own mobile devices. 

 

Backend software:

  • Apache, 
  • Node.js, 
  • Socket.io, 
  • Custom node.js code. 

 

Frontend software:

  • Visitors own modern web browser, 
  • P5.js, 
  • Custom javascript code. 

BeHere taster