2002 Fall


Media Arts & Technology 251

George Legrady
Andreas Schlegel

Monday 5-9pm - Estudio, Department of Art Studio, 2nd floor

"To experience space is to engage with it through one's presence, to possess it by being immersed in it, in the way one possesses space when inside a room, in a park or on the streets. In the process of interacting with the digital world, we can consider real space as the site where our bodies come into contact with the technological devices by which we experience virtual space."

"The Production of Space", Henri Lefevbre


Motion Sensing Interactive Installation Design

A MAT graduate level projects course in which students will learn how to design and produce an interactive artwork where the movement of the spectator sensed through a video camera in a defined space will be used to control and select data of images and sounds in an installation. Students will work in small teams to design and implement a project of their own which will explore feedback interaction.

The course will concentrate on the conventions and design of interactive installations, and the planning of the dramaturgy for human-computer feedback interaction, taking into consideration the perceptual and social dynamics of audience location and movement. Students will conceptualize and produce a project while learning the technical skills. The task will be to create a work that will be "event" based and successfully integrate sound, text, image through the sensing of movement, or behavior of participants over time.

Schedule Topics

Sept 30 Course Overview
Oct 07

Feedback: audience/system interaction

Oct 14 Feedback: Student Presentation
Oct 21 Narrative Interface lecture: Planning the interface, Concepts for the Design
Oct 28 Design Concepts: Interface and Dramaturgy Research
Nov 04 Project Presentations: storyboard development/ Faculty review prior to production
Nov 11 Veterans Holiday/ Production of the prototype
Nov 18 Working Prototype: Individual reviews
Nov 25 Project Topic Lecture; Individual Meetings/lab
Dec 02 Project Topic Lecture; Individual Meetings/lab
Dec 09

Final Presentation

Team Based Emphasis Projects will result from small teams of artists, engineers and others from different disciplines working together to develop a concept that will engage aesthetic, conceptual, cultural and techical solutions.

Prerequisites At minimum, a basic knowledge of computer programming, or else knowledge of the Macromedia Director Lingo programming language; or else an aesthetic background or familiarity with video digitizing and sound processing helpful.

Technical work will be done in Windows PC or Mac computers with camera attachments, in the Macromedia Director environment using the Lingo scripting language.

Trackthemcolors Macromedia Director and the Lingo scripting language. Analog and digital cameras connected to firewire or analog video input. Protools and 6 channel sound spatialization.

Course Events

1. Introduction to concepts of interactivity in installations: Perceiving movement, behavior, time and space, controllers, feedback, phrasing, etc.

2. Student teams do research and concept planning for a project

3. Overview and crash course in Macromedia director and the lingo scripting program

4. Techniques and conceptualization of how to implement the camera interface with the Trackthemcolors Xtra in the Mac and Windows environment

5. Project planning and storyboard development

6. Project production.

Grades Class participation, research, and completion of the project. In addition, grades will not be given without online report of quarter research (description, urls', etc.), project description, digital documentation (cd-rom) of project.


Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction, Paul Dourish, MIT Press
New Screen Media, Cinema/Art/Narrative, ed. Martin Rieser/Andrea Zapp, British Film Institute
Ctrl-[space]: Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother, ed. T. Levin, U.Frohne, P.Weibel, MIT Press
Special Edition Using Macromedia Director 8.5, Rosensweig, Que (or equivalent)

Tutorial sprite.dir

ttc webcam (pc + mac)

Use "download link to disk" or "save link as"

You can get the demo or the full version of the trackthemcolors xtra
from smoothware.com.
for mac use the trackthemcolors 1.5 version of the xtra,
for pc use the trackthemcolors 1.0 windows version.

for pc we use the Labtec usb WebCam. should work for windows 95,98,ME,2000,XP. we tested the camera on a pc with windows xp and it worked fine.
for mac we use the pyro firewire webcam and an analog surveillance camera with a a/d converter to firewire. other usb and firewire cameras should work fine too.
for further information on cameras and compatibility, go to smoothware/compatibility.