In short, Expanded Theatre is a performance project merging science and art, in which sound, visual elements, and the hydrodynamic quantum analogs are involved.
When I saw the video of walking droplets for the first time, I was shocked and amazed. The phenomenon is like a glitch in the Matrix, giving such a feeling of unreal; but at the same time, the elegant bouncing, walking, dancing droplets also create a unique aesthetic. As the video went on, I started to imagine the bath as a stage in a theatre, and the droplets as performers presenting themselves to me. Thus, I came up with the name “Expanded Theatre”. During my experiments of recreating the phenomena with soap and water, I observed the ways of how the droplets move, and the imagination changes: they are more like people dancing freely and uninhibitedly in a nightclub than rigid performers on a formal and dignified stage. So, I decided to make it into a performance that includes DJ, VJ, living coding, and the incredible droplets, but the name “Expanded Theatre” is kept, as I thought it still describes the work well, and it’s cool.
In 2019 I had a chat with an artist in Zurich and he said that in all the art and science projects, the artists seem to tend to just grab what the scientists have found as material/media of their work. I try to do this project in another way: at first, I did a lot of experiments, and really tried to understand the phenomenon as well as the mechanism behind it, and tried to get inspiration for the art project in the experimenting process. I think this might be a better way: with more understanding and knowledge from the science part, art and science merge better, and the result is more surprising.
Below are some of the notes of the experiments.