jmeng – Looking Outwards – wooden mirrors

by jmeng @ 8:00 am 13 January 2010

I didnt know where to begin “looking-outward”, so I did the first thing that came to mind – I googled “Interactive Art” and looked at the first video I found. Luckily, the video was a lot better that my google-ing skills.

** WordPress is being super difficult so I’m just gonna link to videos…

The video I found was about wooden mirrors. Basically, there is a camera that takes in an image, converts it to grayscale and pixelates it to the number of wooden pieces on the piece. Based on what color it wishes to represent, the different wooden chip “pixels” will rotate down or up (towards a ceiling spotlight) to make lighter and darker shades.

This video was kind of annoying because some of the wooden pieces were broken and didnt rotate, making the overall effect pretty bad, but explained the idea well. I found a related video that features a rotating peg wooden mirror that looks better but doesn’t explain anything.

What I found interesting is that the effect is actually very mirror-like when viewing it from far away, watching someone near it interacting with it. The closer you get to the mirror, the more detailed it can mirror your image, but the more abstract-looking it appears to you (like looking at pointillism really close). I also like that the mechanics are conceptually pretty simple, but that it basically simulates a video screen with just rotating pieces and making pieces darker by changing their angle in relation to a overhead spotlight.

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