August 1st, 2005 - November 1st, 2006

Categories: MFA Thesis, Video / Film, VR Art

Still from <em>skin, 2006</em>
Still from skin, 2006


skin is a real-time interactive installation that visualizes a dialogue between physical and digital senses of “touch”. The installation consists of a screen that works as artificial skin, onto which hyperstereo skin-related video imagery is projected. The imagery is accompanied by a generative composition of digitally manipulated and synthesized skin sounds: porous breathing, the friction of skin on various surfaces, and synthesized representations of the electrical impulses inherent in skin at the molecular level. These skin-derived media serve as an exploration of a new territory: the intersection of the human body as landscape / mindscape and the body’s own traces of touch.

By reacting to physical interaction with the screen, the skin-derived media are virtually deformed by the participating audience. Physical gestures are translated into accentuated and non-literal digital deformations of the projected imagery while new sounds, both organic and synthetic, are added to the mix to accompany these deformations.

skin is a VR installation displayed on a C-Wall system and it is developed on Electro. Electro is an open-source application development environment designed for use on both cluster-driven tiled displays and desktop systems. Electro is based on the MPI process model and is bound to the Lua programming language. With support for 3D graphics, 2D graphics, audio, and input handling, Electro provides an easy-to-use scripting system for interactive applications spanning multiple processors and displays. Electro supports Linux, Windows 2K / XP, and Mac OS X.

Hyperstereo imagery is shot using High Definition video cameras.

Sound design and editing is completed in Mac OS X using Bias’ Peak and Apple’s Soundtrack for editing, and Propellerhead’s Reason for synthesis.