UNI [THESIS] – P3 INSTALLATION PREPARATION
July 7th, 2009 | Richard Almond
Monday was spent making the venue suitable to host my installation. Firstly, the screen was created with a simple linen sheet, which was weighted at the bottom then hung from the top on various ceiling protrusions. The screen effectively separates the space into a public section and a private section, and allows for rear-projecting, allowing visitors to fully interact with the installation. Although the projector threw a suitably-sized window onto the sheet, the expected problem of lighting levels unfortunately appeared. The data moshing patch I am using seems to operate within a rather narrow range of light quality, and tends to require fairly bright levels. Of course raising the light levels means that the resulting projection becomes washed out and visually ineffective.
Initially, I experimented with a couple of small desk lamps placed on the floor in-front of the screen. This cast a upward light which created a pleasant ambiance in the space, and I quickly discovered that the MaxMSP patch preferred only one of these lamps to be active. Further refinements saw a shield built to direct the light away from the screen and towards the visitors, and this significantly aided the patch. One factor which continued to pose problems however, was the camera itself. Unexpectedly poor quality, the camera is an external web-cam and is capturing very unnatural colour, saturation, contrast and brightness levels. All attempted tweaking so far has proved unfruitful and so an alternative may be required. The camera was positioned on a small ledge above the centre of the screen.
There was a small amount of successful experimentation done, mainly using the MacBook’s built-in iSight, the results can be seen in this Flickr set.