Spencer Barton

17 Feb 2014

The Bean

Chicago is one of my favorite cities to visit. Part of the appeal lies in the waterfront area which hosts a number of museums and the Bean. The Bean is always surrounded by people no matter the weather (and it can get cold in Chicago). Every vantage point offers a unique distortion of your profile on the stainless steel surface. The Bean itself is large enough to demand respect and attention and curious enough to draw viewers closer. I believe that the joy of interacting with the bean is seeing yourself distorted. People love to see themselves in new and interesting ways.

“Wooden Mirror” (1999) by Daniel Rozin

This project also lets the viewer see himself through a new lens. A camera tracks the viewer and distorts the wooden panels so mirror the viewer. This creates a pixelated mirror. I find this project particularly interesting because of the material. The viewer is not simply seeing a projection, the mirror is an actual sculpture. The interaction is fairly linear but there is some delay as the wooden panels move into place. This makes the piece feel more organic.

Nike+ City Runs

This project is a nice use of gps data from Nike+. Runners using Nike+ shoes stored their run data and their runs were visualized on a map. The interaction is fairly simple in terms of mapping gps data linearly to a map. This project is more interesting because they did a nice job with the mapping and creating a clean visualization. Run paths are the purpose of the visualization and this shows clearly with a clean map that really just shows the run paths. This project may serve as some inspiration for use of my gps data.