Category: 3D

All the Worlds

All the Worlds


Through the use of a special headset, a member of the public is transported into a parallel cinematic world, where the familiar urban landscape, people and landmarks still seem to be there, but are now part of an immersive film plot. The player become a central figure in a dramatic story – but what is real and what is not? And who is pulling the strings?

Three parallel filmic worlds exist simultaneously.

Posters for the three worlds featured in the All the Worlds project: Death Wears a Red Tie, Eyes for You, and Steamship Frankietown

Immersive reality theatrical experience; live. Project in development.

Sign up for updates on this project (find out when we’re testing, etc).

Performance / testing

V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media
Rotterdam, NL
10 April 2020
Cancelled due to Coronavirus lockdowns, to be rescheduled soon.


  • 2019-21




A couple attempt to communicate from afar using an interface which translates their movements into words.

Structured across three micro-acts, Scriptych takes precision in choreography to an extreme, embedding sensors on dancers which measure their movements and control both the music and the words spoken aloud, in real time. The couples’ communication becomes increasingly fragmented as the piece develops, posing questions about the location of meaning in messages and movements, and the impossibility of communicating true intent.

3 x 3-minute choreographed sequences for 2 dancers.
Custom computer interface with machine-learnt three-dimensional word database.


Ina, the French Audiovisual Institute, made a video about the collaboration between myself and Simon Valastro below. More information about this project can be found in Chapter 2 of my PhD thesis.

Pavillon Neuflize OBC / INA #9 Scriptych / Ollie Palmer – Simon Valastro – VA from Institut national audiovisuel on Vimeo.

Photo © copyright Justine Emard / Pavillon 2016.


A limited number of signed prints of this performance are available for purchase. Please get in touch for details.


La Rumeur des Naufrages
Opera Garnier, Paris
18 June 2016

Film screenings

Arctic Moving Image and Film Festival
Harstad, Norway
October 2017

Architecture Film Festival London
Institute of Contemporary Arts / Oxo Bargehouse
June 2017

Film | Making | Space
Royal Academy, London
February 2017


Concept, script

  • Ollie Palmer
  • Simon Valastro


  • Simon Valastro

Design, technology

  • Ollie Palmer


  • Eve Grinsztajn
  • Mathieu Contat


  • Thanks to the Opera National de Paris
  • Director Stéphane Lissner
  • Dance director Benjamin Millepied


  • Project realised under the Pavillon Neuflize OBC programme 2015-16 (research lab of the Palais de Tokyo), during its collaboration with the Opera National de Paris, the Institut national de l’audiovisuel and the Groupe de recherches musicales (INA – GRM).


  • Performance: 2016
  • Film: 2019
  • Performance, film, technology




In 1984, philosopher John Searle asserted that there can be no such thing as “hard” artificial intelligence through the now-famous Chinese Room argument. Searle asked whether a non-Chinese speaker, locked in a room with nothing but a book with instructions for translating one Chinese symbol into another – and given the task of translating Chinese symbols passed to him on slips of paper – could ever truly learn Chinese.

The answer, according to Searle, is “no”. There is no difference between the process that the person in the Chinese room is following (i.e. manipulating symbols according to a pre-fixed routine) and the information transfer in computer systems. Thus, Searle argues, if the man in the Chinese room could never learn the meaning of the symbols he is changing, no computer could truly learn the meaning of the symbols it is manipulating, and thus, there can be no “hard” artificial intelligence.
More about the Chinese Room

This installation is a diagram of Searle’s argument; a human-computer, comprised of four dancers and an unseen controller, parse a coded message. Only the public, who are given code-sheets, can read the message over the course of a 45-minute dance. In computing terms a “Nybble” is half a byte of information – that is, four bits (or dancers).

The Nybble codebase


More information about the development of this project can be found in Chapter 2 of my PhD thesis.

Public performance

Nybble was commissioned for the V&A Museum’s Digital Design Weekend 2013, part of London Design Festival. It was funded by Design With Heritage, an AHRC Creative Economies Project between the V&A Museum and University College London.




Costume Design

  • Magdalena Gustafsson


  • Anastassia Bezerko
  • Maria Fonseca
  • Raimu Itfum
  • Olamide James
  • Alexandra Katana
  • Roberto Leo
  • Monica Nicolaides
  • Ughetta Pratesi
  • Prisca Pugnetti
  • Rudi Salpietra
  • Kathryn Spence


  • Andrea Mongenie



  • Amy Thomas
  • The staff at the V&A Museum



Consumer Response Mechanism v1.14


The Algorithmic Surveillance Systems CRM v1.14 is one of a suite of web-enabled cameras which enable consumer recognition, data capture, metadata analysis and profiling, all without the users’ knowledge.

The friendly, playful and anthropomorphic nature of the CCTV camera ensures that consumers engage with the product without realising that by being in the cameras’ range, they are giving away identifiable and saleable biometric data.

Public exhibition

CRM v1.14 was on public display as part of Virtual Control: Security and the Urban Imagination at Practice Space gallery in the Royal Institute of British Architects from July 9 until September 27, 2015. The solo exhibition by Max Colson explores the spatial and political implications of privatisation of public space.

RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD map
Open 10.00 – 17.00 Monday-Sunday. Tuesdays open until 20.00.
Free entry.
Exhibition website

In addition, you can follow the machine’s twitter feed at @algorithmic_ss or the Algorithmic Surveillance Systems website.

Ant Ballet

Ant Ballet

Ant Ballet is a research project into control systems, paranoia and dancing insects. The project is separated into four phases:

Phase I

Phase I (2010-2012) included thorough research into ants and control systems, synthesis of ant pheromones and testing of these systems with live ants in Barcelona. Through use of synthesised pheromones (Z9:16 Ald Hexadecenal), a robotic arm lays trails which cause ants to move in a different way to their natural foraging behaviour. This phase proves the viability of the research and technologies.

Phase II

The first live performance of Ant Ballet.

Phase III

Development of intercontinental ant telecommunication devices.

Phase IV

Destruction (undetermined).

So far, Phase I has been completed.

More information

More information about this project can be found in Chapter 1 of my PhD thesis.

Public display

  • 2014 Big Data: Designing with the Materials of Life / Lethaby Gallery, Central St Martins, London
  • 2012 FutureEverything Festival / Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester
  • 2011-12 London Zoo / London
  • 2011 Graduate Architectural Design Show / Bartlett School of Architecture, London



Design, art direction, programming, video, music editing by Ollie Palmer.

Some code has been adapted from Daniel Shiffman‘s book the Nature of Code.

Music remixed from “Untitled 13” by Lucky Dragons.

This project has been made possible thanks to:

Godot Machine

Godot Machine

The Godot Machine is a device which monitors and prevents the movement of a single ant.

An ant sits atop a white globe, monitored from above by a camera. As the ant moves forwards, the sphere rotates backwards. As the ant moves left, the sphere moves right. No matter which direction the ant moves in, the sphere will always return the ant to the top. The ant will always remain on top of her world.

As ants use pheromone trails to communicate and find food, a well-fed ant should start laying a pheromone trail. Once she reaches her original starting point, she may choose to follow her trail. The more she follows the trail, the more she strengthens it, and thus the more attractive it becomes…

The Godot Machine is the first part of the Ant Ballet project, a multi-year investigation featuring control systems, paranoia and insects.

More information

More information about this project can be found in Chapter 1 of my PhD thesis.





Investigation of adaptive urban environments, and creating systems that react to the way people use space. Prototypes mimic a variety of animal mechanisms such as woodlice and snakes.


  • Design, video, programming | Ollie Palmer
  • Music | Mirror Fun by Lucky Dragons (available here)




Open_Sailing was a project developing hardware, software and legal frameworks to enable the design and construction of the first International Ocean Station.

The open-source project was split into a series of labs which each developed individual technologies. One of these labs, Protei – a swarming robot that cleans up oil spills – went on to supersede Open_Sailing, and has now been presented by project founder Cesar Harada at numerous conferences, exhibitions and institutions worldwide (including TED).

I was a team member from 2009 – 2013, completing military sea survival training in France, managing competition entries and design processes and presenting the project at conferences.

Please note that Open_Sailing has since been renamed Open_H20, and its offshoot Protei is in active international development.


  • Collaborative project
  • 2009-13


  • Open_Sailing received considerable press. I will compile some of it here soon!

Project credits

Project initiated by Cesar Harada at the Royal College of Art Design Interactions department.

Many people have passed through the community, and lots of great friendships formed…I will list some of them here soon.

Video credit

Open_Sailing 4′ concept from Cesar Harada on Vimeo

Custom sound system

This “sweet” stereo has all the kids dancing to the latest “pop tunes”. Materials: speakers, circuitry, cardboard, red electrical tape. Built February 2009.