Healing Pool

Brian Knep : Work : Healing Pool

2008, six-channel interactive video installation, 30’x20′
computers, six video projectors, three video cameras, custom software, vinyl floor


Healing Pool uses custom algorithms to create a glowing pool of organic patterns on the floor. Left alone, the patterns slowly pulsate and shift over the course of each day. When a person walks across the piece the patterns tear apart and rebuild themselves, but never exactly as before. The change is similar to a scar left behind when a wound heals. Thus the pool holds a history, or memory, of all the interactions that have occurred since the piece was first turned on


Like the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, this project serves as a type of memorial, a constantly evolving record of change that honors the minuscule ways in which the slightest interactions—no matter how small or unintentional—have some impact. It is also an examination of how each person is, like the pool, a manifestation of everything that came before.

This project was generously supported by both the Creative Capital Foundation and the MacDowell Colony.






Brian Knep’s premiering Healing Pool (2008) continues his explorations of biologically inspired generative algorithms. This room-sized petri dish features a floor that is covered in projected “cells” that active participants walk through/over, leaving tears and empty space in their wake. The installation then “heals” itself by growing new cells as seams and scars, never again to repeat any of its previous patterns. Knep’s work pushes at the conceptual boundaries of how we understand growth, healing, organic structures and temporal inter-activity. It’s a work that is mostly playful on its surface, and extremely subtle in its visual difference over time. So subtle, in fact, that it’s very easy to miss its doubled gesture towards emergence theory: both how simple systems can create complexity, and how our embodied interactions, which seemingly change little, have lasting and forever-changing effects..


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