Black Box

An interactive video installation, an experiment on photo-like technical images and how they connect to reality.

I tried to make a digital mirror:¬†a computer ¬†interprets the viewer’s image as a height-map and renders it, shaded in a way that lets you see it as your reflection. The computer’s limited capabilities and the impossibility of obtaining a 3D-scene from merely its photograph transform the image. Play is encouraged.

  • Initially It wasn’t meant to about faces – but I noticed that we do have a very special relationship to our faces’ images. A distorted face feels weirder than, say, a table.
  • I wrote an OpenGL-based video filter for the excellent mplayer, kudos to Song Ho Anh and, yes, nehe. Drop me a line if you’re interested in the code. It’s not very interesting, though.
  • The infrared LEDs help to make the background disappear, as the camera (behind the IR filter) only sees what’s right in front of it.

This is what my “reflection” looks like.

The setup.

At the HGB Leipzig’s annual exhibition.

Ceiling: the IR-LEDs, floor: the screen, back wall: my camera’s “reflection”.

This is what the virtual image looks like at a different angle, plus I added soft shading later on.

The effect in action while i rotate the virtual image.

This is how it looks while I’m working on it. Notice how cold it was. And late.

An early, hideous prototype. I did end up using this monitor.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>