Connections01 is a project researching interactive art as a means of making connections and collaborations between strangers.
The project was a collaboration with fellow member of the ALT-Media collective, Tim Buchanan, and was the first project run on the interactive video platform that I installed in the main concourse of the university of Newcastle Hunter building. This installation was funded by a Create2308 creative grant for the August 2014 festival and involved the addition of an XBox kinect 3D sensor and speakers to the existing Apple mac mini computer and projector and establishing a programming environment (Processing language) on the mac mini and wi-fi communication over the university network. The projector had previously been used for the display of university promotional material and largely ignored by students.
The location is extremely busy, being the intersection of two student thoroughfares and outside two main lecture theatres. There is a lot of light from an adjacent courtyard that results in a low contrast projection. A future funding proposal will seek to relocate the system to a nearby location with less light contamination.
Documentation video by Tim Buchanan:
Observation of student interaction with the work has given very positive results. Although many students fail to notice the projection, those that do quickly recognise the implied connection with adjacent people, with some forming collaborations with friends or strangers to make shapes and patterns on the screen – “lets make a circle/star” is often heard. At especially busy times bemused onlookers note the totally chaotic patterns that form, even though the subjects of the patterns are not aware of them.
The visual representation of the connection between people has taken three forms so far: simple lines connecting every recognisable person in the scene; lines with circles through sets of three people; and coloured triangles joining each set of three people. The objective of these variations is to encourage collaborative play. Insufficient time has been spent on observing group behaviour to determine how effective this has been.
Position data is recorded by the software that can then be reinterpreted into other 2d and 3d visual forms. For example: