Demo of final artworks

Today we began with a discussion on project participants and selecting the final two subjects for our exhibition.

We also saw a prototype version of the final exhibition pieces. Mark and Ben set the demo up in the classroom so that we could test the interactive technology and review the audio, video and photographic portraits.

Using an ultrasonic motion sensor, the prototype detects movement as people moved in front of the sensor. As you get closer the images on the screen change, starting with a full length portrait then moving in to a close up facial shot and finally a close-up of the subject’s eye. The audio track starts to fade in as you move further towards the sensor, followed by the video and finally the MRI image of the subject’s brain.

After trying out the demo we all got the chance to say what we thought of it. We liked the fact that the interactive sensor lets the viewer feel that they’re part of the exhibition and that it lets them control how they interact with each of the pieces.

We also liked how the photographs zoomed in on the individual and would like to start with a full-length shot, taken in a location that tells the viewer something more about the individual (e.g. the place they work, something associated with one of their hobbies). We were also interested in changing the order in which the different elements fade in e.g. would it work as well if it went from the photograph to the MRI data to the video then back to the MRI data and the photo…

We talked about the audio track and agreed it was good to have some abstract/contextual sounds (like the clock ticking in Rachel’s audio portrait) but that they shouldn’t distract from what the person’s saying. We went back over some of the issues we discussed in Damian’s audio session and agreed that it was important for the audio interview to take place in a location with as little background noise as possible (although not the anechoic chamber!).

We discussed whether or not we should have some signs on the wall or markers on the floor to instruct the audience on how to interact with the piece. Some thought this was a good idea, others thought it was better to let the viewer decide for themself.

We chatted about whether the portraits should be exhibited with one subject per screen or with all subjects on each screen – the second option would allow the viewer to experience 6 different aspects of each person at any one time.

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