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Text Rain

Text rain is an interactive piece of art that allows viewers to manipulate the motion of letters that emulate rain falling from the sky. Users have their image displayed on a screen in front of them as the letters begin to fall down the screen. Once the letters reach a certain darkness threshold, they stop falling. This has the effect of making it appear like you can catch the letters falling from the sky with any part of your body or any sort of dark object. You can then push the letters back up and they fall down again or move yourself out of the way so they continue falling. The longer you wait, the more letters fall and then begin accumulating themselves to create words and eventually phrases to a poem. The poem is about bodies and language thus it creates a bridge between the physical act of viewing text rain and reading about it. [1]”‘Reading’ the phrases in the Text Rain installation becomes a physical as well as a cerebral endeavor.”

This piece is an interesting take on how a viewer can interact with a piece of written artwork. It emobodies a physical component that simply reading a poem does not have. Not only is it unique but can engage the viewer and make the poem a much more complex and deep work of art. The viewer also has many ways to engage with the text by using different objects or using multiple people to create distinct images across the screen. Such interaction simply makes it that much more immersive and notable to people who come and ‘play’ with Text Rain.

There are plenty of interactive works I feel like would be interesting to compare them too one of which is called 16 pillars. Despite 16 Pillars being more of an auditory experience they both contain an interactive component that allows users to manipulate how the art works. in 16 PIllars users can move around to create sound as opposed to moving around to shape the physical appearance of a poem. Text Rain also has been written and the poem you read will be the same that other people can read. 16 PIllars on the other hand allows for the user to create their own song and piece and it becomes an even more individualistic work. [2] A more apt comparison of works is with the Animate Field created by Justin Liu. People can walk through a field of lights and as they move the lights appear to be moved by their body as if wading through a pool with little objects sitting everywhere. [3] Text Rain is a virtual simulation of people being able to manipulate the motion of objects (letters of a poem) while Animate Field is actualy a physical and real version of Text Rain using lights. You can create interesting flows with your body and get lost in the beautiful swirls and patterns it makes. It is very interactive however it does lack the integration of multiple forms of art that Text Rain employs. However, you can still create an image and build an aesthetic through your own personal means which is an immersive task and brings much more value back to someone who experiences Animate Field. [1] [2] [3]