Wax Poetic is a performance installation in which water and wax are sculpted in a live response to audience input as translated into computer-generated animated fractals. The performance is centered on a large transparent table covered with a thick layer of back-lit translucent wax (upper right). Water slowly trickles across the wax like a tiny landscape and both highlights and guides the sculpting process. Audience members are able to communicate with this process by offering their own clay sculpture to a camera; the images of their own work and images of the wax are reprocessed into an animated fractal image on a large projection screen (lower right). The camera data also controls a sound engine which creates a delicate ambient music. The combination of the sound and visuals creates the environment in which each sculptural gesture is made, closing the loop from the wax forms to the audience and back.
Wax Poetic is the newest performance work in the Device Chain series and took place at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on May 31 and June 1, 2008 as part of the Fi’Art International Family Art Festival organized by the Pompidou Centre of Paris.