We are designing an interactive installation in an escape-room style, where the user navigates a pitch-black puzzle environment and solely depends on dinoflagellates (bioluminescent algae) as guidance. The installation will be initially located in the ATLAS Black Box, with hopes of broadening its impact, such as displaying it in the Boulder Museum of Art.

Our post-anthropocentric game design involves a level of collaborative and reciprocally beneficial participation between the player and the interface itself, in this case, the live algae. The player is placed in a vulnerable position when having to navigate through the escape room in darkness, which facilitates a dependent relationship, with the algae represented as the user’s guide, and the user in exchange as the algae’s nurturer as solving the puzzle feeds the algae.

Living Matter Lab