Ghost Variations at David Geffen Hall


Ghost Variations is a collaboration between Alexis Zerafa, creative technologist, and Sophie Kahn, digital artist and sculptor. Visualizing mental health and sound through a Snapchat augmented reality Lens and presented as part of the Festival Orchestra of Lincoln Center's season, the installation examines the relationship between the arts and our mental wellbeing. The primary subject of Ghost Variations is 19th century composer Robert Schumann, who, in the final years of his life at a psychiatric asylum, relied on the music of J.S. Bach as he navigated his deteriorating mental health. The busts of Schumann, Bach, and a range of contemporary models, are rendered via larger-than-life augmented reality sculptures. Kahn played Schumann's music under water, recorded the waveforms, and mapped them onto the monumental heads as a visual embodiment of the way that we listen to music. On Snapchat, guests can ‘look through the eyes’ of these figures, whose textures are further animated by ambient sound in the space.

Check back on July 20 for the QR Code to activate the Ghost Variations experience on Snapchat.

About the Artists




About the Technology

–Built with Snap’s Custom Location AR technology, these Lenses use computer vision for spatial awareness to allow visitors to view the experience from every angle.
–To make it fully immersive, audio reactive waves are placed under the AR sculptures to take in microphone input, ultimately affecting the amplitude of the waves based on volume and frequency of sound in the space.
–Opacity textures add transparency to the AR sculptures in the pattern of the waveforms in water, which were created by Kahn.

Thanks to Our Supporters