Illuminate nominated for 2024 SXSW Innovation Award

Jimmy Day and Chelsi Cocking

Illuminate has been nominated for a 2024 SXSW Innovation Award in the Student Innovation category. 

Illuminate  is an interactive art installation in which the movements of a person through open space are visually augmented and brought to life in front of them in real-time through custom-coded interactive visualization software. Seamlessly merging physical and digital space, Illuminate submerges a participant into an artificial reality in which their usually unseen paths of movement become visible– seemingly levitating in space. This aims to give the participant a visceral yet magical moment in which they can see, interact with, and play with their once invisible wakes of motion—pushing the boundaries of our senses and making the invisible visible. Investigating the question: What would it be like if we could see our movement? Illuminate is concerned with the poetic implications of making the invisible trails of our human movement visible.

This project was developed by Media Lab alum Chelsi Cocking for her master's thesis in the Future Sketches Group, advised by Zach Leiberman, along with thesis committee members Josh Higgason, and Marc Downie. 

Category winners will be announced at the 25th annual SXSW Innovation Awards Ceremony on the evening of Monday, March 11, hosted by 3x Grammy nominee SaulPaul. Finalists were chosen by a jury of industry judges from the hundreds of entries received by SXSW in the fall of 2023. In advance of the Awards Ceremony, Illuminate will be presented to SXSW attendees at the Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase. The Showcase will take place on Saturday, March 9, from 2pm to 5pm in Griffin Hall at the JW Marriott Downtown Austin.

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