The Studio of Eric Valosin

Saturday, July 5, 2014

As Above So Below, Part II

Tomorrow I will be installing my commissioned projection piece for Trinity United Church, As Above So Below. (See the beginnings of it and more of the conceptual groundwork in my prior post, here).

I've been doing quite a bit of coding, translating my fantasies into Java in Processing, and it's just about all ready to go!

Basically it works like this: a Kinect sensor views the room. The code devides the room into 25 zones (by x y z location, cropped into circles [with the exception of 5 rectangular zones]), and masks those zones so that anything that falls within those given thresholds gets displayed, and anything else gets omitted. 

It then takes those 25 masked depth images (in real time), tints them a color, resizes, repositions, rotates, and then ultimately displays them in a space masked to fit to the real space of the choir loft ceiling when projected. The colors are somewhat transparent to allow for overlays and infinite other incidental color blends.

The position, size, rotation angle, and color of each overlaid image are all chosen at random, and every 50 minutes it resets, randomly reselecting a new configuration to replace the previous one. Since the piece is by nature interactive and dynamic, I wanted the composition itself to be in flux as well; something that cannot be grasped as a fixed absolute. That's absolutely a theological statement too. And should it land on a configuration that's not so aesthetically pleasing, there is grace:  a "minute of jubilee" (after the 49th minute, of course) in which all decisions are forgiven and the canvas is wiped clean to start again.

This will also create an ever changing ambiance in the choir loft chancel area. In dimmer light, the room will become engulfed in the stained-glass projection glow of the ever-changing, layered colors.

Here are some example images. The interaction is limited in these to me waving my hand at my desk, but it will become much more dynamic when the room is filled with people. Yet even with one person, the repetition and fragmentation of form gives what I think is a pleasing kaleidoscopic effect suitable for contemplation-in-motion.

Next to fit it to the space and then watch people interact with it!

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