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bub_text

Author:   wolfgang muench  
Posted: 04.11.2002; 16:18:59
Topic: bub_text
Msg #: 179 (top msg in thread)
Prev/Next: 178/180
Reads: 24302


s_bub_1.jpg:  s_bub_2.jpg:  s_bub_3.jpg:


Muench | Furukawa

Interaktive Installation mit Echtzeit Video-Tracking System
Realisiert am ZKM Karlsruhe, 2000




german summary:



'Bubbles' ist eine Multi-User Installation, bei der die Benutzer mit einer in Echtzeit generierten Simulation von umherschwebenden Seifenblasen interagieren können. Durch das Eintreten in den Lichtstrahl des Projektors werfen die Teilnehmer einen Schlagschatten auf die Projektionsfläche. Eine Videokamera gibt das Geschehen auf der Projektionsfläche an den Computer zurück und nach der Auswertung des Videobildes erkennt jede Seifenblase selbständig die Berührung mit der Schattenumrisslinie und die Richtung der Schattenbewegung.

Die Seifenblasen sind als autonome Objekte definiert, die in ihrem Verhalten und in ihrer Response auf die Benutzer-Interaktion einer Reihe von simulierten physikalischen Gesetzen folgen. Sowohl der Gesamtzustand des komplexen Systems als auch jede einzelne Interaktion mit den Seifenblasen erzeugt nichtlineare musikalische Strukturen, die über ein Midi-Interface und einen Midi-Synthesizer ausgegeben werden.

In subtiler Weise spielt 'Bubbles' mit der Ästhetik der Interaktion: Der Körper an sich, dem in der Mensch- Maschinen Kommunikation meist wenig Beachtung beigemessen wird, ist hier von zentraler Bedeutung: Der Schattenriss des Körpers und dessen Bewegung wird zum alleinigen „analogen" Eingabewerkzeug der Interaktion mit der virtuellen Welt. Und obwohl der Schattenwurf eine Vielfalt von ästhetischen und kulturellen Verweisen in sich trägt, stellt seine alltägliche Vertrautheit keine Vorbedingungen für eine Kommunikation mit der digitalen Maschine. Die Benutzer werden schnell vertraut mit dem System und lassen sich in ein Spiel oder Tanz mit der illusionistischen, räumliche Distanzen und Beziehungen aufhebenden Zweidimensionalität hineinziehen, wobei die Frage nach dem „wie" von nachrangiger Bedeutung bleibt.

Sowohl Schatten als auch Computersimulation sind notwendigerweise nur eine grob vereinfachende Ableitung der Wirklichkeit. In 'Bubbles' entsteht eine überraschend neue, wenn auch nur virtuelle Reallität aus dem Zusammentreffen dieser beiden Irrealitäten: dem analogen Abbild des Körpers und den umherdriftenden Resultaten eines Programm-Codes.



english medium size



Interacting with virtual bubbles is quite simple...you just walk in front of the projectors light beam and cast your shadow onto the projection screen. The bubbles will recognize this shadow and bounce off its outlines, at the same time emitting certain sound effects. By moving your body and its resultant shadow you can play with these bubbles and the sound composition.

In a subtle manner, the work addresses the aesthetics of interaction on several levels: There is the body itself, which is usually left out when it comes to human-computer-interaction. In 'bubbles', it is central - users interact with the work *as* bodies: The concrete body outlines on the screen become a means of interaction. It's the body's shadow - a cultural icon in its own right - which is being used as an analog 'interfacing device' to interact with a completely digital world of its own, the simulated objects on a projection screen. The data projector, the spectator's body, and the screen itself serve as an 'analog computer' that computes the size of the shadow on the screen; the distances and spatial relationships of these elements crucially contribute to the overall experience of the work. Finally, there is the simulation algorithm itself that defines the completely artificial, two-dimensional world of the screen.

While the technical requirements are in fact moderate and the setup relatively simple, 'bubbles' also displays illusionist qualities in that the 'story' is obvious while the way it's done remains oblique. Spectators learn how to interact with the system very quickly and get involved in dancing, playing, and other kinds of odd behaviour, while the 'how'-question often remains unresolved.

Computer simulations and shadows share the property of a certain irreality; 'bubbles' celebrates the encounter of these two deficient reality modes: the traces of solid bodies meet the fleeting results of program code, the latter being the equivalent of an 'essence' in advanced information societies.



english king size



Interacting with virtual bubbles is quite simple...you just walk in front of the projectors light beam and cast your shadow onto the projection screen. The bubbles will recognize this shadow and bounce off its outlines, at the same time emitting certain sound effects. By moving your body and its resultant shadow you can play with these bubbles and the sound composition.

In a subtle manner, the work addresses the aesthetics of interaction on several levels: There is the body itself, which is usually left out when it comes to human-computer-interaction. In 'bubbles', it is central - users interact with the work *as* bodies, not only making themselves known as 'being there', but rather projecting their concrete body outlines onto the screen as a means of interaction. It's the body's shadow - a cultural icon in its own right - which is being used as an analog 'interfacing device' to interact with a completely digital world of its own, the simulated objects on a projection screen. The data projector, the spectator's body, and the screen itself serve as an 'analog computer' that computes the size of the shadow on the screen; the distances and spatial relationships of these elements crucially contribute to the overall experience of the work. Finally, there is the simulation algorithm itself that defines the completely artificial, two-dimensional world of the screen.

Computer simulations and shadows share the property of a certain irreality; 'bubbles' celebrates the encounter of these two deficient reality modes: the traces of solid bodies meet the fleeting results of program code, the latter being the equivalent of an 'essence' in advanced information societies.

The work presents itself in a light, almost innocent fashion. The initial idea was to create a user tracking interface that is as simple as possible. Insofar as the bubbles react in a predictable manner when they encounter a shadow, it takes no effort for participants to observe the effects on the installation of their respective movements in real space. Ironically, while the technical requirements are in fact moderate and the setup relatively simple, 'bubbles' also displays illusionist qualities in that the 'story' is obvious while the way it's done remains oblique. Spectators learn how to interact with the system very quickly and get involved in dancing, playing, and other kinds of odd behaviour, while the 'how'-question often remains unresolved.

In terms of computer programming, 'bubbles' is a small complex system composed of simple autonomous objects. Each bubble is paired with a script object that defines its behaviour according to the physical laws of gravitation, acceleration and air circulation. Virtual air streams influence the bubbles' drifting movements across the projection surface. A number of the parameters needed for the bubbles' description is further used to generate the nonlinear musical structures with commands to a midi-synthesizer. To obtain the position of a shadow, the generated image is continuously compared with camera input. Where the two clearly differ, there must be a shadow: below a certain level of brightness the program performs a routine at which the bubble bounces back.

'bubbles' describes a playful interaction between man and machine: the participant's shadow in the light beam of the data projector creates an interface reminiscent of traditional shadow play theater. Positioned at the intersection of physicality and virtuality, 'bubbles' displays the shadow, which is nothing but the partial absence of light, as a surprisingly dynamic force.




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