Chronographer, remixing video from the past with the present interactive installations. The project is a collaboration between artists at the MIT Media Lab: Seth Hunter, Eric Rosenbaum, Charlie DeTar, Jeff Lieberman, and Richard The. We incubated the ideas at Jeff's weekly Plebian dinners and began working on code to experiment with foreground background subtraction. Over the course of three years we incorporated techniques into the installations presented above. In 2012 we submitted a paper summarizing the work and our approach to Designing Interactive Systems.
The Chronographer initiative utilizes computer vision techniques to segment foreground objects into independent video streams, which can be combined with other video streams or used to augment live video content with imagery from the past. We began by experimenting with Adobe After Effects and film takes like the one above. The question we are interested in asking is: how can you utilize these techniques in a realtime, interactive installation?
Jeff Lieberman composed these images to illustrate the potential of this approach to create events that never actually occured but feel real because of the seamless background subraction. One is composed of over several hours at a party and the other is color coded marathon runners.
The third installation was built on the InterPlay platform at the MIT media lab by Seth Hunter and Anette Von Kapri. We wanted to remix video and audio interviews from the past with visitors of the Media Lab.
The text from the interviews was animated on the floor in circular patterns in sync with audio coming from ultrasonic speakers made by Holosonic and donated to the installation. We asked everyone two questions: "What do you think people miss out on when they visit the media lab for one day?" and "Have your experiences with technology brought you closer to people or distracted you from your relationships?" The answers were cut to 30 seconds and placed in the installation. Eventually I hope to make a podcast with the audio.