Sunday, October 16, 2005

Reflections / Shane Cooper

We went to the Ottawa School of Art to pick J up from her art class.

There is a special exhibition on in the gallery, currently -- "Reflections", an installation piece by Shane Cooper.
Shane Cooper is a New Zealand-based software engineer/artist whose resume includes scenes created for "Lord of the Rings" and the upcoming film "King Kong".

His interactive exhibit, "Reflections" involves the capture of visitors' movements via video camera. The images are projected on the opposite wall. The "neato" part is that all the images captured are also collected and then fed back into the computer and matched with like-images of other visitors' images.

Visitors quickly catch on to the requirements of the system and by altering their position within the field of vision of the camera, either right-to-left or in height, images of previous visitors match their own movement across the screen.I found it particularly interesting to see the reactions of the kids. Adults tended to stick to simple back and forth movements. Kids, on the other hand, dances, bobbed and resorted to funny movements in order to "see what would happen".

Unfortunately, because this is not a static exhibit, by any means, it is hard to photograph the interaction between the viewers and the projected images. The strobe effect catches one image at a time. While in real-time, the brain puts the images into a stream-like format, the camera "sees" each individual image in its own frame. I made some videos which caught the concept of the exhibit better.

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