LIDAR PHOTOGRAPHY (a naturalistic observation)
(I didn’t realize until it was too late that I forgot to deinterlace the video before exporting. A better quality version will be up soon.)
I’ve always loved people watching in public transportation. I find people’s physical behavior incredibly revealing. This was my main source of inspiration for this project: Trying to capture the topographical organization of public transportation and people’s seating and positioning preferences.
To capture my space, I decided to use a lidar scanner, which provides some sense of anonymity and the physical ability to move through space and the people inhabiting it. It felt surprisingly intimate in more ways than one:
- People were curious and unintimidated, unlike what I had originally feared.
- The shots provide a glimpse into a commonly mundane activity. You wan notice phones, people looking away from the crowd, agglomerations and separation of groups etc.
- This capture walks the line between distance and proximity with strangers.
I was hoping to capture my place in a completely naturalistic way, without any interference from the observer. In order to do so, I needed to find a way to exclude myself from the 360° (in reality 270°) scan. I therefore tapped the lidar rig, which was created by the amazing Ben Snell (who also wrote the OpenFrameworks program I used), to a Carnegie Mellon Civil Engineering hard hat. I then proceeded to walk around with a 10 pound Uninterruptible Power Supply in my backpack connected by multiple wires to my laptop, arduino and additional usb port. Golan was nice enough to help me destroy the battery beeping (that occurred every 10 seconds) by opening the battery and hot gluing the mike. Beeps and wires sticking out of backpacks usually aren’t very appreciated on public transports.