Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Attention Informer

May 23, 2006


Using the model of the Attention Seeker a tool bar appears once swiped to inform a viewer the current point in the duration of the film.

Like the Attention Seeker we made for the experiment, it could discreatly fade in and out at the bottom of the screen, show the duration of the video and indicate through the timeline bar what stage the video is at when you swipe. Because the unique identification number on the card for this application is not required, it would be possible to use cheaper, lower frequency tags and readers, or even use this function inconjunction with others.

This idea also goes hand in hand with, Attention (Re)Starter, where the swipe actually takes you to the beginning of the film. The problem with this idea is the same as the egg timers you get in sauna's, if it has been started before you, you need to wait either until others have left or until its ready to start again anyway. But maybe if the reader could see everyone enter and exit the screening space, it would know if you were alone and know if it were able to restart the video.


How long do you give a video…

May 23, 2006

before you more on?


Also as part of the discussion at Loop was the challenge and commitment that video requires of its audience, to watch each work through its full duration would take days, by which time you either can't remember anything you've seen, or your eyes are so tired and craving daylight you couldn't care less. So its important to be selective for your sanity's sake – but with a durational medium some things just do take time. Marc Spiegler who was mentoring the discussion told us he has been speaking to Christian Jankowski about this and together they had decided that you should give a video 3mins before you move on.

Then there's the idea of a screening programme, where video's could be screened in a predetermined order at a predetermined time in more 'appropriate' setting (by appropriate I mean dark space, comfortable seating, quality projection and sound) – more like cinema or theatre, when you enter the experience with some sort of commitment to staying and watch items from the beginning to the end.

But one thing your audience needs is information, when you walk into a installation space one thing you need to know is the duration of the film, to give you a context of whether those 3mins you are going to watch are at the beginning, middle or end of the movie.

This is where my RFID project could be a solution…

Loop Video Fair

May 22, 2006

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This weekend I was lucky enough to visit the Loop Video Fair in Barcelona, it was a truly wonderful experience. Firstly it was my first art fair, which was an experience in itself – it really opened my eye's to the world of the art market, people buying art, thats not a painting or a photograph or a sculpture, a regular commodity for the wealthy.
I met lots of interesting and fun people, saw hours and hours of videos, listened to some thought provoking debate, ate some delicious food and still had the chance to do some dancin!!!
Ok so the fair takes place in a hotel, the invited galleries get a hotel room to display the work, using projections straight on to the walls (after they had removed any pictures), monitors and tv's on the fixed furniture, the floor and in the bathroom (and the gallerist's get to stay in the same room for the weekend too). Its a very different context to any other I've ever seen video displayed in, and because of this context most of the work is displayed as single channel pieces.

One highlight was the talk I went to:
"Round Table: Competing developments in video and film distribution – the market and festivals in dialogue…
The debate will focus on the subject of the latest productions and new directions in video, the parallel development of markets for limited edition video works and mass-distribution "video" cinema, and the growing number of festivals dedicated to video and digital art."

So there was discussion on the issues of technical installation and developments in display methods; the potential of video art that goes beyond single channel works; the challenges that the media has on the market (you can buy an edition of a work but you then need the technical equipment to view the work) and the reasons for buying video art being less about the commodity and more about a passion and love of the media, work and the aspiration to develop artists.
Where do you draw the line between video art or experimental/short film, do you need to, is the difference just the context in which the work is being viewed? Does duration and narrative influence the context, if you pay money to see a screening programme are you more devoted/committed to all the films.

But just as inspiring was the quality dancing that was to be had at La Paloma, what an amazing venue, with some interesting performances!

la paloma picla paloma pic

Open Call

April 18, 2006

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We're seeking gallery goers in Liverpool to take part in an interactive experiment. The experiment asks nothing more than for you, the audience to give your attention. “Attention Please!” is a video installation with a difference; your attention is important and valuable, pay your attention carefully, and it will be rewarded.

Artist Sara Smith is working with technology partner Kisky Netmedia on this experiment using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. We're mixing techno tags with vivacious video. We're exploring presence and your effect on the art.

As people, ideas and hot new products compete for our attention through TVs, billboards, and the Internet, do they know if we're really paying attention? What if your attention can be measured? What happens when we pay attention to art? And if we do, will it change or react? Will it know? Does it matter? It does now.

We're looking for individuals and groups to participate in our experiment. Come alone, bring your friends or family; it's fun!

Pay attention at

The Box, FACT, 88 Wood Street, Liverpool, L1 4DQ.

03 & 04 May 2pm – 6pm

Just turn up.
If you want to bring a group before 2pm or only finish work at 6pm and want to come afterwards, contact us and we would be happy to accommodate you!

Looking forward to seeing you!

The RFID setup!

April 10, 2006


We have been working with a test set up, trying out various software and hardware solutions, and after an initial period of not much going on, we've now got our preferred setup defined. I want to outline it here….

It may be useful to outline the issues we have faced with using RFID to impact on video content within the gallery. Firstly, our aims as the technology partner are to research what can and what cannot be done with RFID, and helping Sara translate that into a valuable audience experience. As RFID is about interaction, the audience is the experiment as much as the work is and so the audience / art interface is very transparent. By asking the audience to actively 'pay attention' they are willing participants in this data exchange.

So… we are currently using the RFID reader kit from FEIG. It is connected via USB to a Mac. (We had to use a PC to set the box up to work in that way, but it now works with a Mac). We are then using the RFID reader basically as a keyboard. It outputs the serial number of the tag, we can read that in as text.


We have made a simple Cocoa application to handle what we do with that output. So then we can use junXion from STEIM, with Isadora, or potentially use Isadora on its own.


We can assign different actions in Isadora to different events from the RFID box.




(Video before and after the Isadora effect triggered by the RFID 'attention'.) We can also potentially write to the tags. This may be a great way of 'registering' participants. The participants will then take their data away with them as they leave with their 'attention card'.

We will document the detailed set up for reference later on.
Tags: rfid, , , , .

Isadora from Troika Tronix

March 19, 2006

trokia tronicstrokia ranch

The choice of what manipulation tool to use is becoming more pressing to me. We may have to build patches or modules that will beable to read the RFID information we are generating.
I’ve seen VidVox Grid, Jitter(MaxMSP), Isadora and ArKaos (all Mac based) programmes in use and each look simple (apart from Jitter!), effective and stable. Where Grid and ArKaos I’ve only seen in use in VJ situations and I know Isadora is used in performance situations.

I’ve spoken Isadora creator Mark Coniglio who thinks the manipulation will be possible, he said “If they [the readers] output serial (RS-232) data it could be possible. Right now, Isadora only _sends_ serial data. But it has the capability to receive, I’ve just not implemented it yet.”

I’m really looking forward to working with Isadora again!
While looking around at software I spotted ArtMatic and Bliss Paint that seem to be graphical, animation generation tools, using images, textures and effects. I’m thinking about dowloading the demos to generate some video to be used as effects for my active screens.

Real Time Video Manipulation

March 19, 2006


The planning of the project is hotting up. Kisky should take delivery of our first RFID reader tomorrow and the testing can start from there. The plan for the experiment, should everything go well, is that when the readers detect the active presence of the viewer (the action of swiping their attention card) the video screens begin to react, maybe a screen becomes exciting because it’s getting a lot of attention, or it becomes complacent, or another screen gets jelous and changes to compete for your attention. My plan is to do this using real time video manipulation. There are many different packages out there (a lot more than I initially thought) many of them are designed and used for VJing. The most comprehensive list I’ve found was here at audiovisualizers.

RFID Video Player

March 1, 2006 is a simple program that plays videos full screen, the playback is triggered by placing an object containing a tag on the reader.
The software detects the tag and plays the video associated with it. (In the picture you can see where it was used, there was a table where some of the objects had tags that would trigger the presentations when placed on the spot where the reader was)
They used Pearl with VLC player, software was written for the SONMicro RFID readers that are really cheap and work very well.

5 ‘TIL 12

February 27, 2006


The Beall Center (till March 15th 2006) becomes the site of a nonlinear narrative with Knifeandfork’s (Brian House and Sue Huang) immersive installation, 5 ’til 12. The visitor is invited to watch four characters, on four monitors, as they recount the tragic circumstances of the exhibition’s opening night. The experience is unique for each visitor, as each story has most likely never been heard before… and won’t ever be heard again.

The premise is derived from Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon, in which four eyewitness accounts of a murder are presented to the viewer, who serves the role of a magistrate. The contradicting stories reveal that objectivity is elusive, as each individual cannot help but infuse his story, consciously or not, with personal shame and ambition. It is unclear who is lying, or if it matters. Each story holds a valid reality of its own, a subjective truth that reinforces a desired identity. However, perhaps there could be another layer: in addition to stories that differ between tellers, might an individual’s story change with each new telling? 5 ’til 12 proposes that we evolve multiple narratives as we explore multiple identities.