Chris Salter

art / design / research / writing

Collaboration with Erik Adigard/M.A.D. / Venice Biennale, Architecture, 2008 / Interactive Installation

Air XY is an interactive multimedia installation commissioned by the 11th Annual Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in 2008. The installation combines real time animation, sensors, fog, light and sound to explore the way hidden systems in the contemporary city increasingly shape our perception and bodily experience.

A large scale interactive wall projection confronts and engages visitors passing by the installation. The projection is a clock that charts the passage of time. The animation consists of four different layers that influence each other: (1) a base layer of changing interface views that pan from left to right over the surface and increasingly become blurred, (2) the clock, which runs over the XY axis on a grid of 24 hours (horizontal) and 60 minutes (vertical) and features a moving vertical second line, (3) a series of 12 signs/markers which randomly float across the screen and react to the passing of seconds and the presence of visitors and (4) partial images of the visitors, who are tracked by overhead cameras and projected onto to the surface of the screen.

When the visitors walk behind the physical screen they find themselves in a darkened space filled with fog and subtle noise. A series of images are projected onto the floor using the same graphic markers that inhabit the surface of the screen on the other side. A strobe is pulsed at intervals of 100 milliseconds such that the visitors at first only see the after image of the projected marker on the floor. As the room fills with more fog, the size of the projected markers grows larger and becomes more apparent in the air. Thus the combined media reveal another space, not one of the flat, 2d screen but a fleeting, immaterial architecture in the air.


Corderie dell'Arsenale
11th Annual Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale




Custom screen structure, computers, custom software, hazer, 4 speakers, 3 high lumen DLP Projectors, Atomic 3000 DMX strobe, DMX control


Concept/Design Direction: Erik Adigard + Chris Salter
Graphic Design: Erik Adigard
Sound and Interaction Design: Chris Salter
Software Development: Hugues Bruyere and Elie Zananiri
Technical Direction/Production Management/Lighting: Harry Smoak
Screen Design; Harry Smoak and Patrick Harrop
Project Management: Patricia Mc Shane/M.A.D.
Production Assistance: Mariagiovanna Nuzzi, Antonio Cataldo, Ana Marie Brescani, Thomas Spier, Anke Burger



“Out There in Venice’s Lagoon: New Directions at the Biennale di Architettura.” Context: The Art of Place. Peter Miller. September 17, 2008.

 “Architekturbiennale:Architecture Beyond Building.” Art: Das Kunstmagazin. September 2008.

“Green Space-Venice Architecture Biennale” San Francisco Chronicle. Zahid Sadar. September 17, 2008.

“Venice Biennale Review.” Archinect. September 16, 2008.

Venice Biennale. The Architect’s Newspaper. September 2008.

“L’Architettura e Questa.” Corriere del Veneto. September 11, 2008.

“Bienal de Veneza exercita o futuro.” September 16, 2008.

Canadian contributions to the 2008 Venice Biennale 11th International Architecture Exhibition. Canadian Architect. June 30, 2008.