activityPixels is a¬†site-specific installation for ITP that measures the amount of activity in the lounge and displays it as a set of two projections on the windows.
A camera captures a live feed of the student lounge and sends it to the computer, which performs a frame differencing algorithm to measure the amount of activity in the room. The resulting image is highly pixelized, and projected on one of the windows. The second projection is a pre-recorded video, also highly pixelized, which changes depending on the amount of activity. We see a person studying when there is hardly any movement, people walking and talking when there is little movement, and people dancing when the amount of movement is high.
By Elie Zananiri and Kim Thompson.¬†
Special thanks go out to our actors Eddie, Amanda, John, Winslow, and Matt.
On top of the reflected image, the mirror also displays Louie’s trapped soul blended with an echo of what the camera sees. The camera only records when someone is in front of the mirror, so your soul stays trapped in the mirror until someone else looks at it and takes your place. The computer-generated image is warped using vector fields based on the activity captured by the camera. The code is written in C++/openFrameworks, and is based of the vector field examples given for the Making Things Move class at Parson’s.
The set-up is very simple. It’ just a framed acrylic see-through mirror mounted on an LCD screen. I originally used a projection and it worked quite well, but the problem was that the mirror would hang in the middle of the room. The trick with a projector is to use a short-throw model (like the LED projectors we have on the floor) and to cover the back of the mirror with a piece of vellum paper.
The idea behind this is very simple. The mirror will not be a real mirror, but either an LCD monitor or a back projection with a tiny concealed camera mounted on top of it. I would put a frame around it, and maybe add a piece of plexiglass in front of the screen to make it look like a mirror.
When a person passes in front of the camera, a vector field will be generated based on his/her motion, which will then be used to warp the image in the mirror. When the application starts, the image will be Louie freaking out inside the mirror, but as people pass in front of it, what the camera sees will gradually replace him on screen.
There once was a man named Louie who lived in Cobble Hill and worked at the ticket booth of the New York Transit Museum. He seemed like an ordinary Joe Six-Pack, but he was actually one of the most neurotic people out there. Louie always worried about people talking about him behind his back, and this would unfortunately lead to very embarrassing situations causing people to talk about him behind his back. For example, he would often sneak up on people quietly whispering to each other at the museum and try to spy on their conversations. Louie was obviously not trained in stealth operations and would always be discovered, at which point he would panic and scream obscenities at the museum’s patrons before running away and hiding under the desk of his ticket booth.
Continue reading ‘Louie’s Soul-Sucking Mirror’
I’ve been working on a TV cube prototype, which I could potentially use for my Video Sculpture and Materials midterms. I found a cheap portable DVD player at B&H which I dismantled to separate the LCD screen from the rest. I then swapped the cable connecting the DVD player to the screen for a longer one, and hooked it up to my foam-core cube from Materials.
Continue reading ‘TV Cube’
Cartoons, slapstick, effects that look like they’re from 1998, and good music by Ween… that’s me.
We just got 6 rotating plasma screens hooked up in the hall at ITP. My Video Sculpture class made the first project to be installed on them. It’s a giant person made out of 6 videos: 2 half-heads, 2 arms, and 2 hands.
Rumour has it that these screens will be hooked up with servos and accelerometers… That’s going to be lots of fun.
An abstract video¬†made for Video Sculpture¬†that portrays the adjective “hidden”. I kind of went nuts on this one…
¬† Continue reading ‘Hidden’
The main point that stuck with me in this essay is when Pavl??k says that “the kinetic visual experience demanded so much of [his] attention that [his] enjoyment of the music suffered”. This is interesting because I feel like we deal with this sort of thing all the time. We often encounter gadgets that have hundreds of different features yet we can’t wrap our heads around the whole thing and end up only using them for one or two of these features; think of the phone/camera/walkman/radio/alarm clock/browser in your pocket.
The author also suggests that perhaps the reason why Pe?°?°nek’s kinetic art pieces did not stand the test of time is not only due to the lack of support from the electrical industry and other artists, but also because he was trying to associate his work with art movements that did not necessarily fit the bill. This is another topic I found we are faced with every day; think of the number of times you hear something claiming to be “interactive” or “social software” just because it uses a computer or the Internet.
Perhaps the lesson to take out of this essay is to not try to pigeonhole your work, to keep it true to what it is, and to make sure it is graspable by your audience.