This weekend we saw an interesting exhibit at the Gaite-Lyrique, a modern art center in Paris. This exhibit featured 13 pieces by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, who uses computer vision and real time feedback (amongst other things) to incorporate the viewer into his work. It was a safe environment to nerd-out!
Here’s what we saw:
#1: Search detection: An LED stream that projects results from searching the word “detection” on internet news channels. Given our inability to speak french, we had no idea what it was saying. But it looked cool.
#2: Frequency and volume: This was awesome! Your shadow is used as an antenna that catches radio frequencies. Loudness is determined by the size of your shadow…
#3: Surface tension: A giant eyeball follows you. Orwellian creepiness!!!!
#4: Apostasis: I couldn’t get a good picture of this, because it was in a dark room and relied heavily on motion. Spotlights avoid anyone who attempts to stand on them, which resulted in Charles and I chasing these programmed lights for more than a few minutes. We probably looked ridiculous.
#5: Flatsun: LED lights+fluid dynamic algorithms create a simulation of the sun, that of course is activated by movement of the viewer. Obviously!
#6: Third Person: Your shadow is converted to verbs conjugated in the 3rd person. Again, we couldn’t read this, but it was visually pleasing.
#7: The Year’s Midnight: We spent a while at this one. You look at an image of yourself, but with smoke coming from your eyes.
#8: Reference Flow: Exit signs follow you as you walk by them.
#9-10: I didn’t care for these, so I’m skipping them.
#11: Make Out: A wall full of “couples” from the internet. Once you are detected, the couples start making out. Gross!
#12: The Company of Colours: This was my favorite. A live camera downsamples the input into large pixels showing color swatches from “culturally-significant” palettes (such as Nintendo Gameboy, the Apple II, etc).
#13: Eye Contact: A bunch of little videos of people sleeping. Your presence causes them to wake up, and many of them are not very happy about that!