Dasein - an interactive art installation


'Dasein' was based on the work of the existential theorists, and how they explain human beings existence.

The word Dasein itself was a joining of two words, 'there' and 'being'. A person can therefore be considered Dasein ("there being") as they are defined by their own existance, they are a concious part of the world they live in.

Our 'being', or essence has a 'there' unlike a rock, chair or other inanimate object.

This piece of work is really about making people aware of their own 'dasein' giving them a broken, reflected glimpse of how they are existing in that particular time.

The installation is designed to control physical space, and constructed out of specific materials to take the participant out of their comfort zone, to alienate them from the outside world and evoke a sense of anxiety.

In the hope it will bring forward their true being. Their 'dasein'.


The entire three-Dimensional space was designed and construced from scratch.

It began life as a rigid wooden frame to make it as strong and as safe as possible (due to people walking trough it). Lighter and more suggestive surfaces and support structures are then added, finishing with silken walls and a carpeted floor.

LED lights emit little heat, are battery powered, give out a clean light and can be arranged to guide people around the space.

The main source of heat comes from the projector which is running constantly so this was housed behind the installation in a specially constructed space out of view. This gives the heat a chance to escape not to cause a fire risk within the work.

The installation itself is approximately 3 x 3 metres. Inside this room is a tightly twisting passage based on an animal corral design, creating a large amount of walkway, taking the participant on a journey through the installation.


Each participants journey is recorded in real time, and played back to through them via projection.

At various stages within the structure, small motion sensing cameras record discrete slices of video as a person moves through the space.

These recording temporal slices are then stored locally to a web server to be played back via projection.

The next participant's recordings completely overwrite the previous, meaning that each experience is one time, unique and there are no lasting privacy or data protection issues.


As a participant reaches the end of the tunnel, the last few moments of their life are replayed as broken images through a glass lens.

The simple projector loops through the recordings on the server and the glass acts as a prism, breaking the image so a participant has to engage with the piece to make sense of what they are seeing.


Mike J Hadfield - Technical Supervisor

A producer, film maker and designer, Mike contributed to the technical aspects of the project, and documented it's outcome in photography and film.

Mike is currently working on short film projects, with some concept art being displayed with artist Joel Weaver in October as part of Design Event at Washington Art Centre.

You can read more about the technical aspects, or take a look at other work via volicol or spiderhouse.

  • Professor Peter Davies - Head of Glass and Ceramics.
  • Colin Rennie MDes - Programme Leader BA Glass and Ceramics.
  • Cate Watkinson BA(Hons) - Senior Lecturer Architectural Glass.
  • Dr. Andrew Livingstone - Senior Lecturer Ceramics.
  • Inge Panneels MDes - Lecturer Architectural Glass.
  • Slvie Vandenhoucke MPhil (RCA) - Senior Lecturer Kiln Glass.
  • Jeffrey Sarmiento MFA Glass - RCUK Research Fellow.
  • Tim Betterton BA(Hons) - Senior Technician.
  • Rob Winter MA - Ceramic Technician.
  • James Maskrey MA - Hot Glass Technician.
  • Mike J Hadfield BSc(Hons) - Technical Supervisor / Media

Special Thanks.
  • Joel Weaver
  • Mum and Dad
  • Lucy Sedgwick
  • Colin Rennie
  • Cate Watkinson
  • James Maskrey
  • Rob Winter