Sentient:24 places audiences at the centre of a digital organism. We invite people to experience a symbiotic connection between themselves and what appears to be a living, breathing digital entity. This multi-sensory work explores the nexus between organic and digital forms. It raises questions around what it means to be sentient.

Sentient:24 is immersive; the audio-visuals are transportive; the audience interaction is seamless. Sentient:24 pushes the boundaries of how audiences engage with moving image experiences.


An indication of what this new installation may look like


Sentient:24 is a new work featuring 360-degree visuals, interactive audio, and custom-designed ‘tentacles’ that hang from the gallery ceiling. Each tentacle houses a series of sensors. The tentacles respond to audience members’ touch, movements and sounds. When people touch a tentacle, the tentacle lights up and gently vibrates. When people move around the gallery, the 360 visuals and audio change. When people make sound, the visuals display a new layer of animated imagery. The moving imagery and audio change and respond according to human action that is occurring in the gallery space.

Sentient: 24 brings to life an immersive environment where people interact with projection mapped visuals, surround sound, and haptic, responsive sculptural forms. This moving image multi-sensory experience is inclusive, it’s for all ages, all abilities and multi-lingual audiences.

The Sentient:24 imagery operates on a looped 24-minute narrative cycle; the narrative represents a day in the life of a digitally connected human. Beginning at dawn and cycling through an abstract representation of morning, afternoon and night, the work operates on a seamless loop. Multiple audience members can enter and exit the gallery at any time, they can stay for an entire 24-minute cycle or can experience any section of the cycle.


All visuals and audio by PluginHUMAN


We will create 24-minutes of abstract digital animation that will be programmed to operate in real-time. Therefore, the visuals will respond and change immediately according to activity that’s occurring in the gallery. When audiences enter the gallery their movement, sound and touch will be tracked by the tentacle’s sensors. People’s actions will change and effect the visuals; their activity will trigger new animation effects, new colours, shapes and textures to appear within the looped visuals. The visuals respond to human presence, the work will constantly change, every audience experience will be unique.

The Sentient:24 soundtrack will sonically map the 24-minute visual narrative. The soundtrack will also feature short audio loops, that will be triggered when audience members move around the tentacles. These loops will be compatible with the gentle sonic ambience of the overall soundtrack, providing an alluring, harmonious, interactive surround sound experience.

There will be 24 tentacles hanging in the gallery. Each tentacle will house programmable LED lights, microphones, movement sensing cameras and touch sensitive switches. When touched, the lights in the tentacle will turn on and the tentacle will gently vibrate. The tentacles will have a semi-transparent casing so that audiences can see some internal components. They will have an outer layer of soft gel-like latex; they will feel like the tentacles of underwater animals.


An indication of what this new installation may look like



This commission will provide us with a significantly larger budget enabling us to scale our work and realise a new, technically and artistically ambitious project.

This commission will also help us realise our deeper artistic challenge of ‘disappearing the interface’. Sentient:24 uses haptic, kinetic and audio-reactive audience interactivity to generate moving imagery. This work will enable audiences to seamlessly interact with moving image environments. Our recent artwork, DREAM 2.2, allowed audiences to use their brainwaves to control an immersive audio-visual environment (National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, 2018). This commissioned work had 65,000 visitors and was highly successful. Sentient:24 will extend our practice. Sentient:24 doesn’t need staffing, doesn’t require instructions, and doesn’t require audiences to wear or use headsets or equipment. It will be our first work where audiences engage through open-ended exploration.

This commission also provides our first opportunity to work with LED systems.


Dr Betty Sargeant (artist/producer), Justin Dwyer (artist/creative-coder), Andrew Ogburn (composer).

PluginHUMAN will form a new collaboration with Show Jockey, manufacturers of robust LED/hardware systems, to help delivery this artwork.