Reactscape device:space



Thresholds is an installation that explores interactive environments as a means to express new landscapes. Thresholds was originally installed in the College of Art and Design Atrium in 2008 and has been selected as one of eight projects for ACADIA 2008.

Landscape surface is a dynamic and moving medium shaped through natural processes of erosion, deposition, and the interplay of substrate and vegetative matter. This interaction creates complex three dimensional surfaces that exist on a range of scales from the structure of soil particles up to tectonics of mountain ranges. Normal representational methods express the landscape in static modes and limited scales often disconnecting humans from the environment they occupy. Thresholds attempts to use phenomena (light) and human scale interaction as methods to formulate and alter representations of landscapes. Thresholds explores the limitations and possibilities of conventional representation systems and how they shape our perception of environments. Specifically Thresholds examines the isoline as a method to represent spatial relationships. Isolines are curves that connect points where the function has the same value. Landscape surfaces are represented with contours or isolines in order to express similar elevations and in relation to other contours a clear image of the intricacies of a 3d surface are expressed in a 2d representation.

In Thresholds isolines define changes in contrast and are generated dynamically to create automated landscapes. Changes in value are calculated in realtime and expressed by isolines, high contrast is represented by closer isolines and low contrast by wider isolines. As lighting conditions change throughout the day and pedestrians circulate the isolines are generated in realtime creating new landscape representations. The exhibit consists of a large wall painted with a simple graphic used as a datum to generate a baseline representation. This consists of twelve stripes of alternating greys creating moments of high and low contrast. This wall is monitored by a single camera that is fed through an applet created in processing to generate a realtime representation of the isolines. The isolines update a fifteen frames per second in order to create a fluid, realtime representation of the environment.

The exhibition is situated within an open atrium space where lighting conditions change the rendering of the isolines throughout the day. The graphic quality of the painting on the wall illustrates areas of high and low contrast creating a datum when individuals move within space. This datum creates a contextual awareness between the data gathered and visualization in the monitors. The representation of the isolines directly corresponds to the graphic but is rendered in a range of fidelities throughout the course of the day. In low light conditions the isolines are become amorphous and in conditions with more light the contrast is heightened and the fidelity of the isolines becomes much higher.

realtime isoline representation

atrium space installation

human interaction within sensed space

visualization of isoline representation

individual passing through sensored space

individual passing through sensored space

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