It’s You

It’s You is an interactive storefront-window projection that explores the mechanisms of public behaviors and the line between the real and constructed social actions.

The installation is a rear projection on large storefront window. Human figures crowd around something that they obscure from the pedestrian’s view. When the pedestrian stands behind them, as if to look over their shoulders, they step aside to allow him a view onto what they’re looking at. The pedestrian can now see part of the unfolding scene, and he obscures the view for the other pedestrians; he’s become part of the crowd.


When the pedestrian enters the interaction area in front of the window, the projected figures turn their heads glancing at him.
If the pedestrian stops, they will move aside, parting enough to allow him a view onto what they’re looking at.

After the pedestrian has been in the interaction area for a period of time, the projected figures will turn their attention to him. The viewer becomes the performer. If he does something to entertain his viewers, the projected figures will react by clapping, applauding the performance and clarifying their role of audience.

Installation at CAM Raleigh for Born Digital:

Made using
openTSPS(opentsps.com/)
openFrameworks (openframeworks.cc/)
Unity3d (unity3d.com/)
Blender3d (blender.org/)

Background

It’s You exposes the dramatic mechanisms of spectatorship, public gatherings and how they effect individual actions. The viewer is acknowledged and becomes a part of the ad-hock audience, and then the object of its scrutiny. He or she is inadvertently caught up in the social dynamic of curiosity and spectatorship, and invited to examine its nature.

The projected characters eventually transfer the attention from themselves to the viewer, spotlighting him and moving the staging area from under their feet to the sidewalk, upending the subjective roles of spectators, performers and participants. The audience’s attention invites the viewer to fill in the situation with the specifics of their individual circumstance, prompts introspective inquisitiveness. One’s anonymity in public space is called into question. The installation uses surveillance technology, and provokes the same privacy questions that its wide spread use does. Are we being singled out by the system? Perhaps we have unwittingly prompted suspicions by the way we walk or dress? The intelligence of these systems is often opaque and prompts suspicion, distrust and self-survaillance. The installation also relates different viewers to one another.

The installation, while being a literal display, simultaneously takes part in the pedestrian’s reality, the characters responding to the social space they help to create. At the same time it remains a metaphor that relies on the suspension of disbelief, and leads the viewers to examine their relationship to their social and physical environment.