Spectacle of Change

Generative Portraits Installation

Spectacle of Change is a portrait study created at the ScreenLab 0x01 residency in MediaCityUK, hosted by the University of Salford and organized by Kit Turner and Elliot Woods.

Along with fellow resident Memo Atken, we spent five days experimenting with the displays in Egg space at the UoS MediaCityUK campus. The space contains an array of high resolution Christie MicroTiles on which we were invited to explore the idea "the future of broadcast".

During the residency I became interested in a community of artists at the Islington Mill where I was staying. The artists had varied backgrounds and disciplines, but in all our conversations spoke about how digital and networked culture was influencing their practice and visual aesthetics.

I spent a day at the Mill interviewing artists and taking their portraits with the Kinect+SLR scanner. With custom software built in openFrameworks and drawing from the RGBDToolkit system, the artists' images are rendered live across all the displays while their words playback in the space.

The three column displays provide unique perspectives on the portraits. The virtual camera angles are continually shifting to provide different view on the same moment in time. Realtime software playback on MicroTiles is a perfect format for this wireframe visual aesthetic, as the lines appear crisp and bright even when just inches from the screen.

The large central display provides an abstracted view of the artist standing in their studio, and using a Kinect sensor and head tracking, corrects the perspective in real time to create the illusion of viewing the space through a window. (thanks to Elliot Woods for the clever head tracking system!)

The RGBDToolkit is created with support from the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and Eyebeam NYC.