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Smoke Bubbles Carry Projection Mapped Messages Of Kids Talking To Aliens

Justin Dwyer's "Floating Worlds" imagines what it might be like if children could ask aliens questions—by blowing bubbles.
September 3, 2014, 7:30pm

Barring universe-is-a-2D-hologram theories, there's a good chance that, out here, spinning silently in the vast emptiness of space, we're not alone. Be it intelligent life or single-celled organisms, the chances of making contact with alien life forms, while improbable, always remains a possibility. But if little green men were to show up on our doorsteps tomorrow, what would we say? One artist is probing these depths using two unconventional assets: bubbles and children.

Floating Worlds is the brainchild of mixed-media artist Justin Dwyer. Part-imaginary narrative, part-projection mapping experience, in it, Dwyer illuminates smoke-filled bubbles with images of children asking questions to extraterrestrials. Explains Dwyer, "Floating Worlds is an art performance where children recorded messages for Aliens who had appeared in the skies of Earth. These messages are projected onto smoke filled bubbles that float up to the Aliens and deliver their questions." Though he doesn't note where the event was held, Dwyer's project certainly looks like the kind of class presentation that would have blown our elementary school minds.

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In the video above, Dwyer explains that the bubbles needed to be smoke-filled in order for his Kinect-based rig to map them. Creating the backstory, however, was an exercise in imagination. "The story is that aliens have appeared as large eyes over the Earth, and as humans, we've decided to send up bubbles with messages from children, as this would be a very friendly first contact." Take that, McConaughey!

So while I withhold every impulse to belt out Modest Mouse lyrics as I rewatch Floating Worlds, it's worth taking a minute to consider the question: if aliens visited the Earth tomorrow, what would you say?

For more from Justin Dwyer, visit his website.

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