The Center for Empowered Living and Learning (The CELL)

Lessons of Terrorism
Denver, Colorado

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Visitors to Denver’s new Center for Empowered Living and Learning (The CELL) are plunged into a multimedia experience designed to explore one of the most important issues of our time: the threat of global terrorism. Through museum-wide audio, video and control systems furnished by Electrosonic, visitors follow The CELL’s dynamic inaugural exhibit, "Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: Understanding the Threat of Terrorism.”

front of building

A non-profit, non-partisan institution, The CELL is dedicated to educating citizens about terrorism. The exhibit is highly experiential and brings the pervasive threat of global terrorism to life through compelling graphics, sophisticated computer interactives and leading-edge audio and visual techniques. Founded by Larry A. Mizel, The CELL is located within the Denver Civic Center Cultural Complex, adjacent to the new Denver Art Museum.

The CELL occupies the ground floor under the Museum Residences complex designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind. Electrosonic was challenged by the scope of the installation in a relatively small footprint. “The sheer amount of kit in the facility is amazing,” notes project manager Marcelo Videla. “The total contract was for $1.2 million of equipment for 6,000 square feet.”

Nineteen LCD screens play synchronized videos documenting the evolution of terrorism and featuring interviews with experts from around the world.

The first thing seen by visitors to the new museum are three rear-projection screens displaying, in sync, static images of the Faces of Terror -- both terrorists and their victims. Visitors then advance to the lobby area where they see questions about terrorism and graphics of a gun sight displayed on a wall by a Panasonic PTD3500 projector.

Upon purchasing their tickets visitors are admitted to the first exhibit, Terrorism in Our Times. Electrosonic provided 10 Sharp 20-inch and nine Dell 37-inch LCD screens which show synchronized video documenting the evolution of terrorism and featuring interviews with experts. A 24-track Fostex audio player is slaved to the first screen.

kiosk
An interactive kiosk allows visitors to follow the life of a terrorism victim.

Next, the doors to two contiguous areas open revealing six 37-inch Dell LCD screens playing news footage and eyewitness accounts of terrorist attacks. Electrosonic also furnished High End Systems light fixtures with custom gobos, which sweep the walls, and floors with graphic targets and terrorism-related words and phrases. In addition, Electrosonic turnkeyed the technology for two custom kiosks with touchscreens and magnetic card readers. Visitors are issued cards upon admittance; by swiping their cards in these kiosks and others in the exhibit they can follow the story of an individual affected by terrorism. Two more custom kiosks with touchscreens and magnetic card readers, with turnkey technology by Electrosonic, take visitors deeper into the story of the individuals keyed onto their cards

Five rear projection screens and 30 short throw projectors create 360 degree seamless video.

Next, three identical interactive surfaces show how terrorism and individual liberties are a delicate balance. Two more custom kiosks with touchscreens and magnetic card readers, with turnkey technology by Electrosonic, take visitors deeper into the story of the individuals keyed onto their cards.

Interactive surface shows how terrorism and individual liberties are a delicate balance.

A larger installation follows exploring Terrorism & The Media for which Electrosonic supplied two 65-inch Panasonic plasma screens topped by a pair of LED scrollers unfurling relevant quotes. Electrosonic also provided four interactive stations featuring two 23-inch LG LCD screens each. Each station also includes a handheld speaker by AVC Electrosonic and a joystick with left, right and trigger controls. The next area, Voices of Hope, Voices of Reason is outfitted with two interactive stations in the same configuration as the previous room.

The exhibit winds up with experts and world leaders discussing how to combat global terrorism on four custom solid-state computer workstations with touchscreens. They also feature magnetic card readers, which reveals the fate of the individuals whom visitors have been tracing on their cards. Electrosonic wrote custom software to make the card readers, which keep the cards as visitors prepare to depart, operational.

In the last installation a 65-inch Panasonic plasma screen with built-in speakers displays interview footage of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former Mayor of Oklahoma City and the Mayor of Denver.

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