It is partly an audio visual performance and partly trying to reflect on the famous excerpt from Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera that was included in John Berger’s Ways of Seeing TV show. In both works, they are trying to analyse “seeing” and how camera change the way we see.
In the beginning, I approach this project with one question in mind: what does the face tracking algorithm “see”? Trying to escape the tracking with just facial expression (without tilting your head), I squashed and stretched my face as much as possible. Without much success and a solid idea on how to continue, I start remapping the face to find inspiration.
I settled on the cropped eyes because they always look eerie and intriguing to me, the false sense of eye-contact, the information we can extract out of it or project on it. This is a performance of my eyes watching John Berger’s Ways of Seeing introducing Dziga Verrtov’s Man with a Movie Camera, reflecting on what the “mechanical eye” has become, controlling two masks with my two eyes, and trying to make it interesting.
Music: Neu! – Super 16
Voice: John Berger – Ways of Seeing
Ganbreeder is a machine learning image generator done by Joel Simon. It let users decide which image as the root and how different the new image should be. It also let users to crossbreed two different images to generate new images.
First of all, the “Make Children” button is very addictive and satisfying. With just one button and one slider, it gives me a sense that I have some kind of control or influence on the images that to be generated. I then tried to crossbreed two existing images to create the image that is in my head. I don’t think the GAN got it close, but it seems it doesn’t matter. By the time I saw the newly generated images, I already forgot the image that was in my head and intrigued by the new ones.
I think the project taps into the desire of constantly seeing new, unexpected, stimulating imagery. Combining that with the pseudo sense of power, that you can somehow steer where the images go, it is a facade that getting harder to see past.
This project is a slow tag game that uses proximate greyscale colors.
instructions: you move around the big cube slowly in the environment. you try to locate and bump into the other big cube to shift the colors.
It aims to induce illusions and test the limit of patience. The physics library and the tag game work together to create a borderline organic impression. The minimal color difference, the slow frame rate, and the limitation on how fast you can move your avatar encourage a slow pace to play and observe. The shifting color succesfully makes the experience more disorienting and straining. The project is made with Dan Shiffman Box2D for processing library
Without dwelling on the definition of “game”, I am most resonated with Mary Flanagan’s third proposition. Flanagan expands the proposition as “the criticality of mechanisms, strategies, and conventions that creates new type of play”.
This is important since we play to learn about the world. Through play we experiment with surrounding and other entities, hence the habits, boundaries, and limitations. I see inventing new kinds of play as a possibility to shake up those habits and boundaries. By confronting users with familiar yet different interface, it activates both the familiar habits and the creativity to mend the differences. It nudges the users to reexamine the habit, the conventions, and the possibility to update our idea of play, our assumptions and the way we interact with the world.
Touched Echo by Markus Kison
One of the interactive artwork that inspires me over the years is Touched Echo by Markus Kison. It is a work that transmits audio samples of air bombing via bone conduction. Participants encounter the work as a small metal sign on a balustrade. The sign depicts a person with their elbow touching the balustrade and their hands cover their ears, a symbol for audio, and a date.
When participants follow the pose that is suggested by the sign, their forearms close the loop and make transmitting the vibration from the sound conductors that is mounted on the railing to their ears possible.
The thing I like most about the work is its simplicity. It transform the gesture of avoiding loud sound into a key to access the hidden audio sample of airplanes and bombs, twisting an intuitive gesture that is uncalled for into an echo chamber which you voluntarily walked in. Its approach to sound has the same kind of elegance that reminds me works of Janet Cardiff & George Miller. Their use of sound combining with minimal interaction create engaging experiences that blur the real space with imaginary space.