petros vrellis

new media artist

Starry night interactive animation (2012)


"Starry Night interactive animation" aims to provide an immersive interpretation of Van Gogh's original masterpiece; the iconic flows of original painting come to life, in a hypnotic animation. The viewer is further engaged by interacting with the painting; almost infinite variations can occur, as the flows are driven by his hand. The background ambient music is also responsive, making the experience even more intense.

Lot of effort was put on creating an interactive piece that respects the original masterpiece; "Starry Night" had to be completely deconstructed and then accurately reconstructed. In other words, the "machine" is actually drawing the painting from scratch. The animation was designed to be as simple and elegant as possible.

The installation can be used for "re-discovering" classical art and serve educational purposes.


The installation components are shown in the image on the right: a computer (not shown) renders the animation in real time and presents it in a large monitor (1). The visitor's touches are tracked by a kinect sensor (2).


A demonstration video was uploaded to vimeo and youtube in February, 2012. In less than three months it reached over 1.5 million views and received many positive comments from important internet sites and thousands of posts in the social media (facebook, twitter, blogs etc). Also, it was broadcasted in global TV networks as "France24" and "Canada Discovery Channel".


Since 2012 "Starry Night interactive animation" was hosted in various new-media art exhibitions around the world, with the most important:


The most important reviews follow:

Mobile version

A mobile version of "Starry night interactive animation" is available for iOS and Android