Chain Reaction & Light Play Installations - WICO Summer 2019 3.2

Each week at WICO camp we try out some large scale tinkering activities where the group collaborates with each other on multiple levels. While building a large scale Rube Goldberg machine and a dramatic light and shadow sculpture campers work in pair but also combine projects to construct something that’s larger than the individual elements.

On Tuesday we built the collaborative chain reaction machine. Each group had a table with an input and output block. Their job was to create a device out of mechanical parts, electrical components and homemade switches that sent the reaction to the next table.

This week we did a double set off so that each group got a couple chances to show off their contribution to the project and allow the whole group to celebrate the complicated machine. It was great to see the variety of unusual, complex and innovative ideas around the room.

On Wednesday we tried an activity with an entirely different aesthetic but a similar effect of creating a communal installation. For Light Play, pairs each used high powered LEDs, slow moving motors and familiar and unfamiliar objects to construct a light/shadow scene.


After an hour or so of working we combined all of the boxes into a grid so that each project became part of the larger whole. It was so cool to hear the variety of ideas, narratives and emotions evoked by each of the vignettes.

Each of these activities serves to create a group feeling in the camp and even in projects that are on a smaller scale or more screen based, we are looking for ways to amp up the possibilities for collaboration.