activityPixels

activityPixels is a 2-channel video installation, site-specific to ITP. It measures the amount of activity in the student lounge and displays an interpretation of this information as a set of two projections on the windows. These visuals can be seen from the floor and from outside the building, giving an indication of the atmosphere at ITP.

The student lounge is one of the rare common areas at ITP and is always populated. It is a multi-purpose space, holding desks for working, video-games for leisure, a microwave oven for preparing food, etc. This explains why the mood can be very different depending on the day and time. activityPixels is an indicator of this ambience, designed to blend in at ITP, both physically and stylistically.

A camera captures a live feed of the student lounge and sends it to a computer, which performs a frame differencing algorithm to measure the amount of activity in the room. The more movement it sees, the more activity it records. The software generates a highly pixelated echo image, which is projected on one of the windows. A pre-recorded video, also highly pixelated, is projected on the second window. This video is selected from a collection and changes depending on the incoming data. We see a person studying when there is hardly any movement, people walking and talking when there is a medium amount of action, and people dancing when the activity level is high.

The software is written for Mac OS X using C++/openFrameworks.

activityPixels was created by Elie Zananiri and Kim Thompson in December 2008.

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