CLIENT: Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
FIRM: Poetic Kinetics
ROLE: Creative Strategist
Poetic Kinetics returns to Coachella to unleash their seventh, larger-than-life, roaming art installation—the return of the fan-favorite Coachella Astronaut (2019). Since the Astronaut’s show-stopping debut at Coachella 2014, where the kinetic sculpture swept the field as the festival’s most photographed installation in history, the giant explorer has been exploring the galaxy and beyond. This year, the fan-favorite has returned, transformed inside and out, with an important mission for Coachella, called “Overview Effect.”
The Astronaut is a 36’ tall x 57’ long x 40’ wide mobile sculpture that roams the festival grounds, featuring a unique range of interactive elements including radio-controlled animatronics in its arms and hands, giving it the ability to articulate life-like gestures, such as “peace,” “ok” and “thumbs up” signs. The faceplate is equipped with video projection mapping, featuring video content that alludes to strange and whimsical intergalactic journeys. Through a live, interactive facial capture system, festival-goers become larger-than-life with their faces projected into the helmet visor three stories above, while their name simultaneously appears on the Astronaut suit’s enormous name tag.
In a special collaboration, Commander Chris Hadfield beamed into the festival with a special message to attendees about the Overview Effect, the cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight while viewing the earth from outer space.