Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spatial Media: draw/erase/space

draw/erase/space is a site-specific art piece designed to increase public interaction, while at the same time questioning how art is created and destroyed, and how individuals regard others' creations.  Designed to be installed in a public subway, the installation gives multiple users the option to "draw" or erase" within a given space on the subway platform.  Their creation or destruction of art is then displayed on the opposite platform on a projected screen.

The project draws much of its artistic interpretation from two pieces:  Robert Rauschenberg's "Erased deKooning", and Brian Eno & Robert Fripp's "No Pussyfooting".  Both of these pieces wrestle with the complexities of creation and collaboration, and whether destruction is actually a form of creation as well.  draw/erase/space attempts to embrace this spirit by providing individuals with an environment where they can confront these issues head on, simultaneously other hopeful "artists".

Using a ceiling mounted kinect and projector, the piece projects an guideline for where the users are able to stand in order either "erase" or "draw". The floor projection provides boundaries for where users can stand to interact with the piece itself.

The interaction occurs via the overhead mounted Kinect, in combination with a front facing projector.  The user raises their hand above their head, and the hand is detected via blob tracking.  The front facing projection then takes these blobs as input to either erase or draw with a texture on a permanent background.

The interaction succeeds by using the Kinect's depth map and feeding it to OpenCV.  By setting a height threshold, it doesn't detect movement below a certain height.  As the user raises their hand, it detects which side they are on (draw/erase) and draws a cursor (green/red) to indicate where their "brush" is located. These cursors are mapped to a larger space, as they only take up half of the kinect window, but need to be able to traverse the whole of the projected image.

As users interact in the space, the image becomes a combination of their drawing and erasing "work", and reflects their behavior over time.  The space supports multiple users in each area, and can also support a variety of backgrounds and brushes.  

No comments:

Post a Comment