Imagine walking into an art show where the art itself interacts with the viewer. As you walk by a whimsical painting and lightly touch it with your fingers, the artwork whistles and emits ambient music—only heard by the surrounding party. Or, you come face-to-face with an art installation (above) that mimics your movements, exhibiting human-like behavior but with an unworldly appearance.

This was me last night as I entered the “From Paper to Pixels” art show in Jamaica Plain, an art initiative created by Infrared5 CEO and Creative Director, Rebecca Allen.

But what I ultimately found was a playful, fun and fully engaging interactive show. The exhibit pairs ‘traditional’ artists with new media artists to create an interactive piece inspired by the traditional piece. Many of the artists were present, explaining their work to the perplexed onlookers, including myself.

The creatures in the exhibit above are “Lightdrop Encounters,” interactive artwork that features brightly colored felt sculptures of an organic and playful shape by artist, Anna Kristina Goransson. And they are (as you can see) brought to life in an immersive audio-visual environment by Rob Gonsalves. The seven lightdrops interact with visitors exhibiting four behaviors: sleeping, chattering, observing and dancing.

So how do these creatures move? According to the artist, a Microsoft Kinect interface detects human movement, which in turn controls the Lightdrop creatures. In addition, there is a soundscape and video projection of “virtual Lightdrops” behind the 3D creatures. I would think of it as something like when Wii meets art—to sum it up in simple terms.

This is just one of the many inventive and creative masterpieces that you can see this weekend, which also include everything from a “paint and sound experiment” where the viewer can touch a painting created by an an artist from the MIT media lab, to an interactive silhouette light drawing of yourself (below). That’s me and a friend posing for a light interactive selfie.

According to, this interactive art show “is intended to be a traveling exhibit, with multiple opportunities for artists to collaborate.” The show will be in Boston this weekend only, on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m to 6 p.m. and will be displayed at Infrared5, located at 500 Amory Street in Jamaica Plain. After such a fun evening, I would definitely recommend heading over this weekend with friends. Artist’s names are below.

Traditional artists:

Aaron North • Anna Kristina Goransson • Ace Norton • Rosie Ranauro • Bradley Munkowitz • Sally B Moore • Sage Schmett • Elodie Sabardeil • John Guthrie

New media artists:

Rob Gonsalves • Eric Rosenbaum • Aaron Artessa • Sophia Brueckner • Keith Peters • Joe Farbrook • Kawandeep Virdee • Andy Shaules • Infrared5 • Steff Kelsey