Relational Architecture 17

“Sandbox” (Relational Architecture 17) is a large-scale interactive installation created originally for Glow Santa Monica. The piece consists of two small sandboxes where one can see tiny projections of people who are at the beach. As participants reach out to touch these small ghosts, a camera detects their hands and relays them live to two of the world's brightest projectors, which hang from a boom lift and which project the hands over 8,000 square feet of beach. In this way people share three scales: the tiny sandbox images, the real human scale and the monstrous scale of special effects.

The project uses ominous infrared surveillance equipment not unlike what might be found at the US-Mexico border to track illegal immigrants, or at a shopping mall to track teenagers. These images are amplified by digital cinema projectors which create an animated topology over the beach, making tangible the power asymmetry inherent in technologies of amplification.

General info

Spanish name:
Caja de Arena
Year of creation:
Infrared surveillance cameras, infrared illuminators, computers, DV cameras, 4 projectors, milagritos and plastic rakes
Projection onto 740 sq m(8,000 sq ft) of sand, each sandbox about 69 X 92 cm
1 Edition, 1 AP



  • Programming: Conroy Badger
  • Production Assistance: David Lemieux, Guillaume Tremblay
  • Glow Santa Monica: Marc Pally (Artistic Director), Mark Flaisher (Technical Director)
  • Production Manager: Warren Tash
  • Supported by: City of Santa Monica, Santa Monica Arts Foundation, Marisa Arango Berry, Jumex Collection