My idea behind this final piece is a Renaissance ball gone slightly off kilter. I am really interested in mixing different textures and mediums in this piece. I found this amazing photographer on flickr, who does these nighttime shots of abandoned and dilapidated buildings. He then lights up the space with highly saturated colors, giving the shots these eerie and surreal feel to them. The shots also really lend themselves to be “sets” in my animation, because they have an amazing sense of depth. There are also staircases and doorways which can allow the characters to enter and exit. I asked the photographer if I could use his work in my piece and he was actually very excited to see what I come with.
I want to contrast the photographs with the use of 18th century illustrations. My idea is to for all these different women to be appearing from these environments to attend a ball. They descend from the staircases, appear from the doorways, and potentially even climb through the windows. Finally when they all arrive in the giant hall they will all dance! I want to use the dancing to create patterns, almost like when you view synchronized swimming from above. I am envisioning lots of concentric circles and traditional ballroom dance patterns to create the movement in the final part of this piece.
Here is my not so well drawn story board:
Here is my color pallet:
Here is my style frame:
Here are two different inspirational videos:
Ben Harper – Power of the Gospel
Beruit – The Gulag Orkestar
We have officially launched our kickstarter page! Come check us out there too, see how you can help support us, and get some ridiculous things in the process. Who wouldn’t want chris to do a singing telegram on their front door?
Thinking about the way in which the exhibition space would be set up is as important to me in this process. Even though the interactivity between my viewer and the installation needs to be functional and in line with my concept, the context in which I present it will shape the over all user experience. Over the past week, I have been sketching both in my sketch book and in photoshop to develop a variety of potential setups for how this exhibition could exist. Initially I was thinking of the interaction being a two way conversation, having two webcams, computers, and screens, showing one viewer the image of the other. After a lot of consideration I felt that this wasn’t necessary. I eventually decided that I wanted one viewer to be active (clicking the mouse) and the other viewer to be passive (viewing the sliced images of the active viewer). I also thought of the idea of being blatantly obvious with how I want the viewer to interact with my piece. By placing the words “PLEASE CLICK” I feel I am commenting on our innate desire to not only touch things, but also to constantly share information digitally. Below are some of the sketches of the space.
So after some fantastic feedback I realized that the content of my work was not working. As much I liked the visual aesthetics of the “tixel pits” photographs, they were not supporting my overall concept. However, the sketch that I made which revealed the image, pushed me in a new direction. I begin thinking about revealing images one pixel at time. In a sense, our digital representations (like when we video chat online) are just a series of lines of pixels. I wanted to extract a single “slice” of data and represent that over time.
In a sense turning a video shot like this (below) into this (below):
The next step was to begin working on the programming. I decided to use openFrameworks, as I am current in a class where I am learning that language. I thought it would be a great opportunity to put into practice the skills that I am learning. Ideally the functionality would be, that the webcam is picking up a slice of the user, and every time the user clicks the size of the slice gets larger, thus revealing more of themselves. If the user dosen’t click, the size of the slice goes back to one pixel. Unfortunately, coding this is not as easy as I thought and I am left with a broken program.
So in response to this, I decided to draft up a mock up version of the code in After Effects, just to see what this type of functionality could potentially look like.
So I decided that I needed to jump into some programming language and whip up some extremely basic user interactions. After our class discussions, I realized that in order to push my concept of digital communication further, I need to take leverage of the computer mouse as the “entrance” into the interaction. So below are two very simple programs.
The first pixelates the image when the mouse is moved to the right, and brings it back to normal when the mouse moves to the left.
The next one reveals the image when the user clicks.
Although neither are extremely exciting I think it is important for me to begin thinking about the ways in which I want my viewer to interact with my installation and this is a great way to being thinking about how that can manifest.
As a paper prototype to hone in on the aesthetic look and feel of my final project I was inspired by a book my friend told me about called Tixel Pits. This book takes pornographic shots, and crops and pixelates them so they become more abstract. I knew that I wanted to distort the image of the human body for my project, and the distortion is in direct relation with the proximity of the viewer. Because my piece is commenting on the ease at which expose ourselves online, I felt that using pixelation to distort was a great solution.
I took several nude photographs, and pixelated them. When viewed close up, they look abstract and distorted. However, when viewed from a distance, the form and shape of the body is easily recognized. Below are several of the shots that I made. I also printed a life size print, to get a more accurate representation of how one might interact with the piece.