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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Semester 2: Projection Mapping. Initial Stages/Ideas

We decided as a group that our next project would be another interactive installation.  We had developed an interest in what we could produce with emerging technologies in this area, and were excited about the idea of developing applied learning of the installation medium.

To this end we decided to produce an installation that was focused around utilizing interaction on a broader scale.  We wanted to create something that could potentially be left in a public space, where it would grow and develop relative to the amount of audience interaction, potentially without the audience being aware of their interaction at all.  Whereas last semester we produced an installation which relied on one person syncing in with the apparatus to register specific movements, this semester we would focus on the sensors picking up movement across a wide area, essentially allowing many people to directly interact with the installation as opposed to just one.

We looked at competition as a theme but decided this would introduce a 'game' element which we were all keen to steer clear of.  But the idea of co-operation, or more appropriately collaboration stayed with us, and has been a major component in the development of the installation throughout.

Our plan at first was to create an installation that was ran simultaneously on opposite sides of a free standing wall.  Kinect sensors would also be installed on either side and would monitor movement. On screen would be a scene depicting the growth of a city in a 'Simcity'-esque fashion, being barraged by the forces of nature.  The idea behind the interaction would be that registered movement on one side of the wall would affect the construction of the city, and conversely interaction on the other side would affect the level of ferocity of the weather.  This would create an oscillating cityscape that would rely on cooperation to achieve specific results.  The idea however was still too reliant on competition, and we felt had the capacity to become a 'game' environment very quickly.

We abandoned the idea of separate sides controlling separate entities, as it was too hard to distance from elements of competition.  We did however like the idea that this installation could be left in a public sphere, say a shopping mall, and interaction would be initiated by people just walking by oblivious to their effects on the installation.

We began looking at different interesting canvases to use, and different emerging technologies which we could incorporate.  The initial conceptual ideas remained, but we began a more broad research process in order to diversify our creative practice.

We have put into production an installation which uses an approach known as projection mapping.  This will be detailed further in my next post.  The installation will focus on the development of a city-scape, one that implements aspects of both synthetic and organic construction.  It will be projected on a free-standing geometric sculpture in the centre of AUT's chroma key room and will harness audience interaction to guage which element of construction is most notably present.

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