Interactive Art

Interactivity sits at the threshold of what is possible and what is imagined, what is destined and what is controlled, what is experienced and what is to experience.

Pinhole

Using physical computing, this interactive-participatory media project combines a user's physical movement with a random physical projection. Depending on what zone the user's shadow reflects, a corresponding video will be shown. If more than one user's shadow is sensed through a pinhole camera running custom MaxMSP application, additional videos will be shown. Also, this design allows for networked interaction at multiple physical sites.

I love computers, software, and interactive components. I love it even more when these interactions are inspired and transpire in social settings which adds the missing dimension to traditionally designed software, campaigns and online social media environments. That is, the word of mouth experience begins on-site through the participants' engagement with each other which will then be taken to the nth degree through future conversations and online social media collaboration.

For Pinhole, the original problem the piece sought to solve was how can one an individual experience a multitude of perspectives, all at the same time.  The approach for this piece was to set up an overhead camera, reflective floor surface divided into six zones, six video perspectives matched by six audio tracks.

Depending on where a user is standing, one video will be shown. If another user is sensed by the camera and software algorithm a second video will be displayed concurrently. Up to six people can stand and be sensed in this particular design which will show the perspectives of each to those who surround them connected through a network.

An advanced, non-implemented, design for Pinhole includes multiple locations where the users in one location would see the perspectives of the users from the other locations communicating through cables, routers, software and finally to the social informal on-site locations.

+ Minus

A live interactive performance that combines documentation with live performance. In this case, the performers are the actual attendees of the event; this was unknown to them before they entered the venue, but when each participant was blindfolded and given a walking stick, they did not know that they would be surrounded by dancers, videographers, a light show and live music ambience. At the end of the evening, with all participants safely back in their seats, they were shown what they expressed blindly earlier in the evening. This is a recording of the live video mix from six different camera angles; the projection itself was filmed.

+ Minus, which is the title for the performance piece Plus -, has an interesting back story. While working with a sound collaborator Sean Clute, we were designing a performance with recorded video and sound. He suggested a true rarity: let's blindfold everyone.

I was aghast!

A video maker makes videos that no one can see?!?! How can this be Sean!

After taking some quiet time, I came around to the idea but only if a few conditions could be followed.  First, six cameras would be set up including two roving videographers and these six video channels would be live-mixed to the same audience as the last performance of the evening. Second, the project needs dancers to continually move and gyrate through the blindfolded audience whose playfulness would only be revealed once projected. Finally, a lighting designer should be brought on to mix up both the color and temperature of the performance. The night before the performance Sean rounded up some folks heading off the hills of Central Park going stick collecting as it was decided each blindfolded participant should be given a long arm to touch the ground.

This video presents the live six channel video mix which itself was recorded at audience level.