‘Maybe I can, somewhere else. ‘ // My final project for my Practice, Digital Crafts, is an interactive video installation. I used a Kinect sensor – a peripheral device that works similar to a webcam, but can also detect depth and movement. This sensor when used in conjunction with Processing – an open source programming language, can transform the body into an abstract form in the virtual world. The installation invites you to interact with your figure. Colourful trembling dots and electric blue lines is your new silhouette. Removing your point of view and perspective of space, while you enter the virtual world.
My first thoughts for the Final Project for Digital Crafts, was to create an interactive video installation that will be projected in a whole room. I have this idea and will a year now. In general, I want my work to be interactive and experiential and, in this period, I explore the relationship that humans have with their virtual self or with a digital figure in general. Which are the physical borders of the human being and which of an ‘avatar’ – virtual figure. Last year I did an essay about this subject (that I have attached in this email) and I wanted to analyze it more.
Otherwise, at the beginning I had an idea of making a video projection in a room and connect the video with a movement sensor, with the help of Arduino the video would stop every time there was movement in the room. Or the opposite, the video will start every time there was movement in the room. Colors would change while you are moving, was also one of my ideas, interact with the video and control the speed and the time of the video. Direct the work. (Unfortunately, I didn’t keep any documentation of the attempts of my first idea, but I present it to Ivan in our first meeting).
After the meeting I had with Ivan in the first feedback, we talked about how this installation is for one-person and that I had to think about how I am going to present it in the end, if there was no way to have one whole room. Ivan also suggest me to look the after image that I haven’t thought about and he also made me think more about the speed, movement, colors, image and more important about the meaning of the work. I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to make, I had some ideas but nothing complete.
The staff of the Interaction Station introduced me to Kinect. I started experiment with Kinect and Processing to see what I can do with them. I was intrigued by the fact that Kinect, that works like a webcam and can detect depth and movement, and Processing, that is an online open source programming language, transforms your figure in a digital way and you can interact with your virtual self. Without characteristics, just an abstract form created by you, consist by trembling dots, lines, shapes and whichever color you want to choose through coding with Processing. Floating through an abstract background, you are losing the feeling of space and you are just dots that are moving the way you are. Sometimes we need this feeling, of nothingness. Without big lips, blue eyes, blonde, brunette, short, tall, fat, thin, big nose, hairy. Just dots trembling and dancing in this dark space that is been created. When the viewer enters to the room and realize that what he sees its himself he started dancing with himself and observe his moving. The Kinect is placed in the corner of the room, because of that you are losing the point of view and you need some time to understand why this happening and place yourself in the virtual space.
My final project for the major is also about the process of importing the organic body in the digital world, but with a physical way. The viewer’s figure becomes digital with 3D scanning, I invite the scanned person to edit themselves, with a 3D animation program and bring it back in the physical world via a 3d printed model. This work focuses on the idea that the virtual body, has no boundaries. From the physical and biological space to a hallucination, into the site of vivid lust for redefined implementation.
While I was checking the possibilities I had with the combination of Kinect and Processing I tested the shapes and colors that you could see yourself with and for the background also. The options are limitless, I want to do more final pieces to see the results and the different reactions of the viewers. For this first attempt I chose dots and lines in blue electric color. The effect that I used is called pop-matrix that creates a triple figure impression. You see yourself in a black figure, one with blue electric dots and one with colorful dots like glitch. With this way I confuse the viewer and make him loose the perception and can’t understand which his real figure is.
In our society we have relate the blue color with the internet and technology, especially in the advertising, this was the main reason I chose this color. However, I also experimented with skin colors as I wanted to give a more ‘organic’ feeling.
In the future I would like to experiment more with the shapes and colors and also cooperate with dancers and musicians to compose a complete work/experience.