Invisible Worlds is a new permanent exhibition at the Eden Project that reveals the world beyond our senses: too big, too small, too far away in space and time. Owlnwolf created an exhibit called ‘Past Invisible’, a projection mapped animation that travels through 4.5 billion years of earth’s history. We watch it evolve from a sterile ball of space rock into today’s dynamic Life Support System which shapes and is shaped by life.

past invisible exhibit

The story of life on earth is one of incredible improbability, and whilst daunting in its complexity it has the most poetic of pay-offs… we are (extraordinarily) lucky to be here. The chances of earth having the right conditions for life are so slim, a recent computer model simulation returned a figure of 1 in 700 quintillion (700 with 20 zeros!). To then get from simple unicellular organisms to humans capable of conscious thought took an extraordinary series of events.

The exhibit uses projection mapped animation to create an immersive visual experience, taking the viewer on a journey in and out of the complex data and back into single key events which act as poetic highlights. Playing with the optical illusions and trickery projection mapping allows to shift perspectives, making links between seemingly unconnected stories at both micro and macro scale. Sections with multiple screens emphasise the intricate systems changing through time. The points where the screens merge into one image reflects the interconnectedness of the component parts and the macro effect. These moments of contemplation give space to look at things in a new light. The overall message is that these systems
have many invisible moving parts which together have huge and visible effects.

See behind the scenes


Past Invisible – initial sketches

Design and build of the structure

Storyboard for the Past Invisible animation