The Bartlett School of Architecture


The Magic Marble Maze

Michael Wagner

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjfj2uuZWIg


As stage technology, such as sound and lighting, is evolving to be more and more an immersive experience rather than just framing performance, this work questions whether the stage, as well as the performance, could not also change and rearrange their spatial relationship with the audience. Could the technology available today be used to fragment and distribute a performance across a single auditorium or even across multiple spaces?

The marble run – the simple action of a ball rolling from top to bottom of a designed structure – is a performance that has to happen in one piece as otherwise it would not work. The marble would simply get stuck or lost if its rails were not connected to each other. However, by turning analogue into digital and making use of lighting, visual and sound technology not to only support the performance but to become its representative, we can make the marble suddenly appear and disappear at will and even travel from room to room through solid walls and ceilings.

The Magic Marble Maze project is an experimental attempt to rearrange the spatial layout of a performance by using differing media typologies to fragment the components and distribute them across multiple spaces. This can give an audience the opportunity to arrange their own individual storyline by choosing the order of experiencing the fragments. The appearance and disappearance of the performance in unexpected spaces and unusual representations gives the spectator the ability to explore and discover.