THE SUN DROPS ITS TORCH: A portrait of the Earth from the outside in and the inside out, is an interactive environment which explores new forms of communication. Inspired by two extraordinary natural events, a total solar eclipse and an active volcanic lava flow which occurred simultaneously in Hawaii on July 11, 1991, the piece allows visual and acoustic interactions created by the juxtaposition of these two universal phenomena as they conjunct in space during a frozen moment in time. Participants may "play" the environment, direct images, sounds and fragments of multi-lingual stories simply by walking around the installation space. The installation is a multi-user system designed to promote cooperative interactions rather than individual competition. The form of communication and interaction becomes part of the creative experience.

The installation uses a ring of 10-24 video monitors and 6 floor sensors which are distributed around interactive space. As the floor sensors are triggered by a person's location, images transform and recombine to form a constantly changing collective image on the ring of monitors. Also triggered is video from laserdise. All sensors trigger both images and sounds, including spoken multi-lingual text. Visual cues on each of the floor sensors indicate which images and sounds you are controlling.

THE SUN DROPS ITS TORCH was installed as a Work in Progress at the EXPLORATORIUM - Special Exhibit in the MultiMedia Playground (Feb.- March, 1994) and at ACM Multimedia, San Francisco, CA.(94). The environment was installed at BLASTHAUS Multimedia Gallery, San Francisco, CA (April-June 95).

The source material for THE SUN DROPS ITS TORCH is taken from original footage shot on location in Hawaii, July 1991, copyright JoAnn Gillerman and Rob Terry.