COLLISIONcollective

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*                        For engineers that moonlight as artists and artists that moonlight as engineers                                         *
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Me on PHP

inkjet prints, foamcore
2013
Me on PHP by William Tremblay

On April 6, 2013 I was writing a Drupal module in the PHP language at work. During the course of the day I used my phone camera to take a number of self-portraits documenting my facial expression. I then used an online system to extract a point cloud and construct a 3 dimensional object from the photos. Though they were taken from dissimilar angles and under different lighting conditions, the facial recognition algorithms in 3-D software prioritized the face while wildly misinterpreting the background. This is similar to what the human mind does when recognizing faces. The difference is that while the human mind discards the irrelevant data, making it effectively invisible, 3-D software faithfully reproduces it creating mathematically well-defined objects for us to consciously observe.

Verbing Man

Wood, steel, plastic (acrylic mirrors and foam)
2012
Verbing Man @COLLISION18:present

 

Verbing Man is the latest in a series of animation devices which I call Image Engines. It was designed to maximize interactivity. It is an animated sculpture which, like a zoetrope, uses persistence of vision to create an illusion of continuous motion from a series of “frames”.  Verbing Man offers unprecedented interactivity for this type of sculpture due to the use of 12 poseable artist mannequins as frames, making it possible for the animation to be repeatedly altered and remade by viewers. Further, the mannequins are arranged on a platter which viewers rotate by means of a crank in order to bring the animation to life.

Verbing Man uses new materials to reinvent a 19th century technology in which an inner circle of mirrors was used to animate, in reflection, an outer circle of flat images mounted on the same rotating wheel. Verbing Man is likely the largest praxinoscope ever made with a wheel diameter of 4 feet instead of the more typical 4 inches. For technical reasons, it is also likely that this is the first time a praxinoscope has been used to animate three dimensional objects. The use of mirrors instead of strobe lights or slits means that animations are visible in almost any lighting condition, from candle light to full sun, and from all sides at almost any angle.

Hidden Marriage

Wood, polymer clay, gold-leaf, mosses, lichens, liverwort, foam, water, mist makers, felt, lamps.
2012
Artwork by [user-name]
Artwork by [user-name]
Artwork by [user-name]
Artwork by [user-name]
Artwork by [user-name]
Artwork by [user-name]
Artwork by [user-name]
Artwork by [user-name]
Artwork by [user-name]
Artwork by [user-name]
Artwork by [user-name]
Artwork by [user-name]

Hidden Marriage is an extraordinary piece of furniture housing a marriage of hidden interactions.

Visitors encounter a familiar form, an elegant coffee table, but its surface is bursting with growth. Woodland natives, the spore-producing cryptogams (Greek κρυπτός kryptos, "hidden" + γαμέω, gameein, "to marry") - mosses, lichens, liverworts, selaginellas, ferns - are watered by constant veils of mist. Creeping in from the table's edge to mingle with the mosses are lichen-like forms dressed in the livery of the table, black and gold. Small, gold figures walk in the miniature landscape.

Visitors are encouraged to sit or kneel at the table, either in contemplation or conversation. 

The piece is a reminder of our inner primordial forests where the rational and the irrational mix to make something new, perhaps over a cup of coffee.

This piece is part of the Wonderlust series, and its evolution can be found here: http://elaket.org/wonderlust.html

Undulum

cast acrylic, wood, aluminum, neoprene foam, motor, phenolic laminate, steel
2011
Artwork by [user-name]

I’ve long been fascinated with the segmented structures of larvae and of spinal forms and their ability to express elegant motion through waveforms and writhing. Undulum is the first attempt in a series of sculptures under development inspired by sinuous motion in nature.

The mechanism of Undulum is deceptively simple and consists of a helically shaped rod that rotates within a flexible sheath, which in turn is anchored. A second, outer, sheath is built of translucent acrylic shapes held apart by preloaded flexible foam spacers and is also anchored. As the rod rotates within the core of the sculpture, the outer sheath rides the convolutions of the inner sheath as it contorts to follow the changing shape of the rod within.

See video

Masked Thoughts

wood, mirror, computer with custom software, webcam, video projector, foam board, mic. stands
2008
Artwork by [user-name]

Masked Thoughts is an interactive video installation that allows viewers to try on virtual masks, and think virtual thoughts. The installation is comprised of the following components: a large mirror mounted in a wooden frame, a video projector and video camera mounted on top of the frame, and two projection surfaces mounted on mic stands in front of the mirror. One of the projection surfaces is a mask with eyeholes cut out. The other surface is a thought balloon - comic book style. Both surfaces are front/back symmetric and can be swiveled around to face the other side.

A webcam provides a video feed to the CPU, which scans the area and detects changes to the mask and thought balloon. Swiveling the surfaces cause the projected images to change in real-time. Turn the mask around, see a different face. Turn the thought balloon around, see a different thought. Note that the surfaces can be changed at any time, in any order.

A variety of recognizable faces are available to try on: politicians, historical figures, entertainers, etc.

FaceLifter

Acrylic modeling resin, foam board, wood, steel, servo motor, micro-controller, custom software, webcam, video projectors
2009
Artwork by [user-name]

FaceLifter is an interactive video installation that allows the viewer to see his/her face projected on a 3d mask. The mask is mechanically raised and lowered to allow the viewer to see him/herself eye-to-eye.
An outline of shoes marks the spot on the floor where the viewer can get a closer look at FaceLifter (and FaceLifter can get a closer look at the viewer). The viewer's faces is illuminated by lights mounted on the column. A web camera mounted above the mask captures the viewer's image, which is algorithmically identified and processed with a hidden computer.
The mask, rendered in white acrylic resin, is mounted on the surface of a column attached to vertical rails. A computer controlled motor inside the column lifts the mask to the height of the viewer.
A video stream of the face is projected via two ceiling-mounted projectors. The projectors are mounted diagonally to allow the viewer to get close to the mask without casting a shadow. The images are adjusted vertically by the computer to track with the mask.
The overall effect of the installation is to allow the viewers to see themselves as they appear to others.
The face finding algorithm is by Philip Abbet, from the IDIAP Research Institute, in Valais, Switzerland.
Thanks to Jennifer Lim, Vivien Leone, and William Tremblay.

Saint Stain

Wood, foam, toys, Astroturf, electronics
2009
Artwork by [user-name]

Artificial landscape depicting the scene of death and gore that eventually contributed, according to legend, to George's sainthood. Photosensitive flowers act as motion detectors to trigger the dragon's death throes.
Saint George was born in what is now Turkey in the 3rd century AD and served in the military under the Roman emperor Diocletian. At that time -- much as today -- there was high inflation and civil unrest, and hardship fed a trend toward religious fundamentalism both among the population and the government. Diocletian was a brutal persecutor of the rising Christian movement. As a recent Christian convert, George was outspoken in his disapproval of the government's crackdown on Christians. For this he lost his head.... and gained sainthood. Many legends arose to celebrate his faith, courage and spirit of self-sacrifice, eventually inspiring the Crusades, in which those noble ideals became distorted into an bloody excuse for intolerance against Islam and a call to reclaim the Holy Land from Muslim rule. One of the legends that arose about George had him rescuing the beautiful princess Cleolinda from a dragon that was terrorizing a village somewhere in the Middle East. As reward for killing the dragon, he demanded that the population of the village convert to Christianity. I have to respect Saint George as a person. The problem I have is the way the Christian Church has used and abused his personal story for political purposes.

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