California Science Center – “Tess”
2004: Los Angeles, CA
50 ft Animatronic Woman with Multi-Media
Designer: West Office Exhibition Design
If you need a 50 ft mechanical woman, we’ve worked on one! Behind her head is a 25 ft wide screen with a door cut into it, a very hard screen to make.
The main screen is single image; however there are lots of smaller monitor and readouts built into the walls on either side. A 100 fixture lighting system, including moving lights and lights embedded in the figure, light up to tell the story of homeostasis or body feedback physiology. When she raises a leg her heart rate increases, gauges indicate consumption of glucose, et cetera.
There is an 8 channel sound system divided between the screen area and the overhead trusses. For the interactive character on the screen, the sound comes from the screen. The rest of the narration is VOG and comes from the overhead speakers. In addition, a few speakers buried in the model provide specific sound effects.
In this installation all the sound is played off an 8 track player slaved to the video players via SIMPTE timecode.