Date :May 2015

Skills :OpenFrameworks

Rokurokubi

Rokurokubi is an investigation of interaction design between people and spaces and an inquiry into the representation of yokai throughout Japanese art history.

The rokurokubi is a character from Japanese folklore, a seemingly normal woman whose neck extends incredibly long at night when she believes no one is watching. The rokurokubi is an embodiment of transfiguration. Naturally, the canvas she inhabits in the project becomes defined by it's instability as well.

The interaction

The installation uses a kinect to track the audience's position. In order to awaken the rokurokubi, the viewer must lie down or sit on the bed in the installation space, a reference to the original story where she wakes up only when her husband falls asleep.

After waking up, once she realizes that she is being watched, her head swivels to face the viewer. If the viewer moves from the bed, her head will follow. The scene recalls stories in which the rokurokubi attempts to scare away the person who catches her.

Moving across the canvas reveals classic representations of the rokurokubi from the Muromachi and Edo period; the canvas thus becomes a sweeping timeline from left to right.

Once the viewer leaves the installation, she falls back asleep.