Sensing Speaking Space

George Legrady, Visual artist
Stephen Pope, Sound composition
Andreas Schlegel, Macromedia Visualization Design
Gilroy Menezes, Camera motion tracking software
Gary Kling, networks protocol

Sensing/Speaking Space

"Sensing/Speaking Space" is an interactive digital media installation that is a real-time feedback environment where visualization and sound will be generated to represent the presence and movement of spectators within a public space such as a museum or shopping center. The interaction will focus on the notion of the "intelligent space", a space that knows you are there and reacts to your presence and movements through a custom camera tracking system. The installation will be able to accommodate simultaneously anywhere from 1 to 20 spectators.

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The event will be an installation consisting of real-time interaction generating visuals and sound from stereo to a six channel system. The visualization will develop through multiple layers beginning at the most simplest which will consist of basic layered shapes animated to move like organic behavior (primal cell growth) and eventually reaching "culture", i.e. language or texts functioning as visual texture. These will result as a consequence of the audiencešs movement and will also generate sound events.

Stephen Pope's sound composition is based on a database of 20,000 words broken into phonemes (Stephen Pope's archive) and to be orchestrated in multiple modes through software developed with Supercollider. These phonemes are called into action according to a set of defined rules (the composition) which are enacted in response to the presence and movements of the audience and spread across the museum space through 6 channel sound system.

The event, or "dramaturgy" or narrative will function on multiple levels or mood changes based on any number of factors: a consequence of the number of spectators in the space and their movements, the cumulative number of people who have visited the installation, a history of the actions, progressive changes throughout the duration of the installation event/evening, etc. In the end, the focus is on the relationship of the audience's presence in relation to the circumstance, generating a visual/aural event and feedback interaction.

This project follows in a series of related investigations with implementing advanced usage of database, intelligent data organizing algorithms, and multi-user realspace interaction. The production component will take place at the University of California, Santa Barbara in conjunction with the Media Arts & Technology graduate program.

Activate the Medium Five
SFMOMA Feb 15/16