The Dynamically Transparent Window responds to the movements of people passing by. The windows are fitted with electro-chromatic foil, which can change from opaque to transparent when an electric current runs through it. By using strips or rectangles of the foil, narrow bands on the façade change, in order to reveal what is on display in the store, when people walk by the window.
The software developed may be tailored to the interaction strategy that you want to pursue: 1) as seen in the video, 2) the transparent opening may be to one of the sides and as you move to the side the opening moves away from you; 3) or the obstruction of the view may be in front of you and as you move to the side the opaque obstruction moves with you.
Additional information at the project web-site.
During the 2006 Scape Biennial in New Zealand Swiss artist Johannes Gees turned the façade of an office building in Cathedral Square in Christchurch into a screen. By using laser projection messages by the artist and the public appeared on the walls on three nights.
The Christchurch Menetekel, as it was called invited members of the public to hijack the sequence of artist’s statements by using mobile phones to send their own text messages up. In this sense the project was a battle of words and over religion, as Gees had predefined the subject of communication. Actually about 70-80 percent of the projected contributions dealt with this topic; the statements were partly of aggressive or absurd nature. Of course, others just used the public display for all sorts of comments and self-promotion.
Gees’ interventionist multimedia practices seek to provide a vehicle for the airing of contentious societal and political issues within the public realm, and the artist has orchestrated a number of projects over recent years such as HelloMrPresident and the HelloWorld Project.
In both instances, the artist called for comments to be submitted via text messaging and the internet. He then saw those messages re-projected upon the white slopes above Davos in 2001, and simultaneously in Rio, New York City, Mumbai and Geneva as part of the HelloWorld Project in 2003.
© Johannes Gees
A total of seven open-air screenings of live surveillance took place throughout the city of Oslo from September 14-20th as part of ‘urban interface oslo.’
The week-long cycle of open-air surveillance cinema under the title of Friluftskino (open air cinema) was completed by the screening of Traffic, a live video feed of a traffic camera that was projected in feature film length onto the surface of a garage door somewhere around the corner of Biskop Gunnerusgate and Storgata. This occured with much peace and contemplation and no police intervention.
These experiments in open-air surveillance cinema by Canadian Michelle Teran use wireless surveillance technology. These video images, incidental in nature, are easily intercepted while walking through the streets with a video scanner. Once a day different places throughout the Oslo districts of Grønland and Grunerløkka were be used as locations for Friluftskino. Using a powerful video beamer and video scanner, live surveillance intercepted from wireless CCTV cameras were be captured and then rebroadcasted upon the city walls.
© Michelle Teran
The light installation Insect by German designer Nina Jeroch interprets the natural movement of insects and transforms it into light. The work consists of a modular series of LED sculptures of only two different lengths. These modules are arranged along a line of approximately 40 metres.
The installation shows two behaviours. In the ‘autonomous’ mode which is on when nobody is close to the installation, short lines of light move horizontally and slowly from the right to the left. These ‘light worms’ appear irregularly on the LED sculptures.
In the responsive mode photodiodes track the visitor’s movement in proximity to the sculptures. The ‘light worms’ quickly gather where the visitor was localised and flicker hectically in a kind of nervous behaviour. When the visitor moves on, the light follows him/her.
Insect was presented at LICHTBERLIN this year.
The project The door by Jean-Claude Bustros takes the shape of an actual main entrance door for a highly frequented subway station in Montréal. By the end of 2008, the actual door will be embedded with a flat screen display. The door offers an experience that combines expanded cinema, reactive environment and augmented reality.
The screen will be inhabited by characters enacting situations that unfold according to a set of variables triggered by the proximity of people passing it and the angle of pivot it happens to be in at any moment.
The video narrative performed by the characters will be episodic in nature. This means that the “plotlines” evolve and resolve themselves, but can also be tied together in larger logical combinations. They can run continuously over an extended period of weeks and months. By using permutational algorithms an array of discreet “live action moment-intervals” will incrementally generate a series of fictional episodes.
These episodes build and deploy with every intervention of the commuter/commuters approaching and passing the door in single-directional or multiple-directional file.
The door is developed and realised with support from the Fonds de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture (Québec, Canada) and in collaboration with the Faculty of engineering and Computer Sciences of Concordia University in Montréal. Contact email@example.com for more information.
© Jean Claude Bustros
Every Passing Moment is the title of an urban game experience using the blu_box Bluetooth interface which both have been developed by Australian Maria Stukoff.
The blu_box project is concerned with how interactivity within technologically driven playgrounds or mobile-based entertainment zones can shift public attitudes and relationships towards city areas that previously were considered only transitory.
Every Passing Moment will consist of six Bluetooth nodes embedded around the BBC Big Screen based in Liverpool, UK. Visuals projected onto the screen are entirely created and edited by the public as they walk through each Bluetooth radius and begin to play inside the active zone. The individual Bluetooth nodes process a generative action to interface with a visual display. Each Bluetooth node is responsible for generating a variety of different effects and visual outcomes, each assigned to a specific area in the Bluetooth zone. Depending on the position and paths the public take through and around the screen, their proximity to each Bluetooth node acts as the controller for the interactive visual projection. By searching for other active Bluetooth devices – a message will appear to tell the payer what interactive zone they are currently inside of and may control.
The research was commissioned by the Manchester Digital Development Agency (MDDA) to enliven the city sphere as an interactive playground. The launch is planed for April 2008.
Read more on Maria Stukoff’s mobile play research blog http://mobilebox.typepad.com/
Instead of using massive LED screens, most artists these days prefer to be independent from the commercial media system in public space and to bring their own flexible and lightweight display systems into the city. Mobile projection has become an art trend since the projectors get smaller and lighter and batteries more powerful. At night moving images appear like ghosts on the surface of the city and intersect with its architecture.
Naba University in Milan has coined the term Diffiti for a special type of projection bombing, the interactive digital graffiti. Certainly the Graffiti Research Lab deserves the credits for promoting this art form successfully and inspiring numerous artists such as Daniel Sauter. He has developed a mobile projection piece called Light Attack which moves along the streets and shows an animated human shadow exploring the city. While the projection unit is attached to a car, the artist operates the system from inside the car, controlling the scenes and responding directly to the space they move through.
UDK students Frédéric Eyl, Gunnar Green and Richard The developed the mobile projection unit Parasite which can be attached to subway trains. Parallel to the train and only visible from inside, the animated graphics float on the dark canvas of the subway tunnels.
At the Urban Screens Manchester Conference the question was raised how public screens can contribute to public debate. In the light of this challenge the web streaming project BUFFER ZONE by Samer Najari reached out to the passer-by in Manchester, confronting him with a live “window” into a parallel world of hope and despair.
For one hour on three nights, Najari and his team broadcast sound and still images of a site called La jungle in the district of Calais where asylum seekers mainly from Africa and the war zones of the Middle East gather in order to illegally cross the Channel and immigrate to the UK. The BUFFER ZONE team offered these asylum-seekers to opportunity to speak about their current situation and to tell their personal stories.
The project was realised using a mobile studio consisting of a web-camera, a portable computer, a microphone and wireless internet connection. The team approached the refugees on the street and in buildings, initiating conversations and interactions. BUFFER ZONE was also an interrogation on the concept of frontiers and how information can freely circulate in contrast to men. While physical bodies are stopped, images and sounds of these bodies continue their journey to the other shore.
With his project Liberate Your Avatar Paul Sermon best known for his telepresence research explored the merge of virtual and real worlds on a public screen. At Urban Screens Manchester 07 he presented the interactive piece on a temporary screen in All Saints Gardens on Oxford Road.
Beforehand Sermon had recreated the actual square in Second Life. Liberate Your Avatar transformed the screen situated in All Saints Gardens into a portal between these two parallel worlds, allowing both ‘first life’ visitors and Second Life avatars to coexist and share the same park bench in a live interactive installation.
Although the physical interaction stayed on a simple level (such as hugging, waving, sharing the bench), the coexistence of both realities was a fascinating experience.
By positioning the screen as the mediator of change, the installation also examined the history of location by relocating Mancunian Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst as an avatar within Second Life. Paul Serman: “Here she now remains locked to the railings of the park, reminding us of the need to continually evaluate our role in this new online digital society.”
In January 2007 ART+COM have completed an artistic installation at a new building complex in downtown Tokyo. The Berlin based company was commissioned by Nanjo and Associates to develop a work that integrates into the architecture. The concept by ART+COM went even one step further by creating an installation which seamlessly connects virtual and physical elements in a responsive installation. Consequently, the piece was called Duality emphasizing the relation of liquid and solid, the real and virtual and water ripples and light waves.
The installation is located at the exit of the metro station Osaki. It consists of a 6 x 6 meters large LED plane installed right on the edge of an artificial pond. The monochrome LEDs are covered with translucent glass panels diffusing their light. On each corner of the 9 glass panels sits a weight cell. Together they can locate the position and weight of one step on the panel at a time.
Passers-by flowing from the metro station walk over the LED plane. Their steps provoke virtual waves on, computed in real-time. When these waves hit the edge of the pond, they are extended into the water as real ripples generated by a motor.
The installation aims at creating an identity of the space. Pedestrians become aware of the space that they would usually cross without paying much attention to. In a fast moving world passers-by are offered a moment of contemplation.
The system of monochrome and slightly blurring LED “screens” which remind of Jim Campell’s famous LED works was developed for the BMW museum in Munich, Germany (opening in spring 2008).
ART+COM was looking for a way to present dynamic images corresponding to the museum’s theme “mobility” but avoiding cinematic-like projection. The result is “screens” which do not cover architecture but constitute it.
Johnny Chung Lee has created an interactive multi-point whiteboard a Nintendo Wii controller and one or two IR-emitting pens. The system can be used to turn any surface into a multi-point display.
The Wii controller (Wiimote) is usually held in the hand and using infrared signals and a built-in accelerometer it can be used as a 3D controller to play games on the Nintendo Wii. In this setup the controller is in a fixed position, and the user uses infrared pens which are then recognized by the controller. Combined with a projector it provides you with a large display that you’re able to paint on and control using up to four pens at the same time. You can even use it on a normal computer display.
Johnny Chung Lee, who has already made other Wiimote hacks, has provided his software as a free download, so it’s quite easy to get this up and running.
Check out the very impressive video.
Further reading and info about Johnny’s other Wiimote projects can be found on his website.
‘The Pepitasausage Racetrack’ is an online art piece by Danish artist, Jette Gejl Christensen. The piece is part of a project called ‘pop-up art’ in which artist from Århus, Denmark are invited to create digital art pieces for virtual pop-up windows in a web browser.
This piece presents an endless pepita-textured tunnel in which the camera travels like a race car. Once in a while the ‘car’ crashes, causing the camera to move outside the pepita-sausage as if it was floating in space. The car will always find its way back inside the tunnel where it’ll continue its endless loop.
Jette Gejl Christensen is currently artist-in-residence at CAVI, the Center for Advanced Visualization and Interaction at the University of Aarhus. She has previously done digital art pieces, including 3D pieces that are meant to be played in a 3D cinema.
Check out the Pepitasausage Racetrack which will be online until January 3rd, 2008.
Reactive Sparks is an interactive video installation by German design group ART+COM and OSRAM, the lighting manufacturer. The installation detects the presence of cars on Munich’s Mittlerer Ring, and visualizes them in different ways on seven slim screens.
The ‘OSRAM Seven Screens’ are located in front of the OSRAM head-quarter which is located right next to the heavily trafficked Mittlerer Ring. The vehicles passing the building are individually tracked and then visualized on the screens along with the other vehicles. A vehicle passing quickly will produce a long tail of light while slower moving vehicles create shorter tails that are visible for a longer time.
The ART+COM installation will be on display until 23th April 2008.
There’s a lot of talk about alternative energy these days, and this installation is a rather creative way of providing energy. The installation is basically a christmas tree but the power used for the lights is generated by a single electric eel in an aquarium.
Electric eels use electric shocks to stun prey so they can catch them. When the eel touches a copper wire in the aquarium the electricity will be used to power the christmas lights.
The tree is located in Kakamigahara, Gifu in Japan.
Have you ever wanted to change the colour of your car without having it repainted or even while driving? It seems like you have to wait until 2010 before that’s possible! Nissan are planning to release cars with this feature in just a few years.
The car paint will be paramagnetic and allows you to change the colour with the click of a button. A small current is needed to maintain the colour and by varying the current the colour will change in about a second.
Before releasing this kind of car to the public, Nissan are looking into some minor details. For example when the car is turned of, the paint will return to its default colour which is white. Imagine finding your car in a parking lot with only white cars! And what happens if your car is stolen, and you tell the police that it’s a blue Nissan? It might not be blue for more than a few seconds.
With this kind of technology you begin to wonder what the next thing might be? An entire high-resolution display in the shape of a car perhaps? We’ve already seen the rims with built-in LEDs that display any image while you’re driving.
Read more on Next Engergy News.
With Nissan’s new cars you’ll be able to change the colour with the click of a button.
Digital experience inspires a lot of people, showing exiting, interessting, innovative or even odd uses of new technology in an experience-oriented context. If you have a good example that we haven't already covered, we would appreciate your suggestion.
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