Orixá

An interactive installation inspired by Afro-Brazilian ritual.

This project was inspired by the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé. In west African religious traditionans an Orixá (pronounced oreesha) is a spirit who reflects a manifestation of the supreme divinity. The challenge was to communicate the concept of sacrificial rite in a way that is accessible and meaning full to those who are unfamiliar with such practices.

omolu the orisha of healing

You may turn to Candomblé for help, even for miracles. The doors are always open. By crossing the threshold, you are looking for the Creator and the Orixás. Suddenly, you are trans ported to another place, a very beautiful place.


— Ligiéro, Zeca (Initiation into Candomblé)

The Ritual

The interaction model of this installation was inspired by the ceremonial format of a traditional sacrificial right. The ritual is structured in three stages. In the first phase the worshiper crosses the ceremonial threshold to enter the sacred space. In the second stage offers a sacrifice to the deity. The final phase consists of an invocation to being the sprits into the sacred space, entrancing the worshiper.

First Stage:


The worshipper enters the sacred space. Here signified by a diamond shaped enclosure projected onto the mat.


Second Stage:


A sacrifice is given to the spirits. The participant places his/her hands over the bowl to offer in a gesture of offering.


Third Stage:


The spirits enter the sacred space, entrancing the worshiper. Here the trance is represented by the expanding pattern.


The Implementation

The audio-visual aspect of the instillation was implemented within a Processing sketch. The contents of the sketch were projected into the instillation space by means of a projection mapping application. The entry, offering and clapping interactions were implemented by means of Arduino managed sensors.