Associate Professor Joseph Farbrook’s (3D & Extended Media) interactive art installation “Soul Crushing Machine” is featured as a permanent installation in Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, now open in Las Vegas. Farbrook’s installation proposal was commissioned two years ago by Meow Wolf but, due to pandemic delays, Omega Mart’s opening was postponed until 2021.
“Soul Crushing Machine” is a multi-room interactive installation featuring 3D printed diorama, kinetic crushing mechanism, interactive video screens, plus a transparent display attached to a live feed of participants walking through a separate capture area, installed on a different level. Other interactive elements include touch screen sliders and actuators that manipulate a mix of various audio components. Soul Crushing Machine is a visual and rhetorical critique on corporate culture and the commercialization of the mind.
“Designing and building an interactive art installation that could withstand being handled by thousands or even millions of visitors over time was an extraordinary learning experience,” said Farbrook.
“The thought and skills required to go from concept to completion turned into a great expansion of my art practice. Eric Norman in the SOA shop taught me enough welding skills to build the metal framework. The armature for the crushing mechanism required drilling, milling, and mechanical design skills that I acquired at Xerocraft. In creating the diorama itself, I modeled, 3D printed, and painted over 100 parts. I created a series of video animations for the embedded screens, which are all powered by micro-computers. The audio elements required designing digital sound synthesis modules as well as programming a controller interface.
“Working with a large organization like Meow Wolf was a terrific experience and I hope to contribute to future installations as well as to other organizations that are creating immersive art experiences,” Farbrook added.
View a preview of “Soul Crushing Machine” here: https://youtu.be/8pOymRjRcwA
Visit Joe Farbrook’s website.
About Omega Mart
Meow Wolf’s second permanent installation, Omega Mart, is an interactive, mind-bending art experience. Participants explore an extraordinary supermarket that bursts into surreal worlds and unexpected landscapes. Astonishing. Unpredictable. Mind-bending. Featuring jaw-dropping work from international and local artists, Omega Mart is an experience in imagination and immersive storytelling. Discover secret portals or simply soak up the innovative art as you venture beyond an interactive supermarket into parts unknown. You have no idea what’s in-store for you!