An interactive installation by Simon Penny
Utilising the TVS multi-camera machine vision system by Andre Bernhardt and Simon Penny.
Premiered in Technospheres, Beall Center UCI, August 2006
Open GL code by Pearl Ho
System support by Jeff Ridenour
Fabrication assistance by John Aguilar and David Brearly
Spectre utilises the TVS real time 3D infra-red machine vision system to generate a ghostly 3D facial representation, viewed, as it were, at the bottom of an abyss. The user climbs a 17' long staircase at the top of which is curtained opening which leads to a platform where the user lies face down on a vaulting horse-like upholstered object. Putting their head through a stocks-like hole, they look downward, there seeing, 12' below, a large and ghostly 3D representation of their own face, but one which has some autonomous behavior. Technically, this project is the first attempt to deploy the TVS for high resolution, small object 3D modelling.
The building of the stairs constitutes a significant component of the total impression of the work, on both visual and kinesthetic levels. The design is quite particular as is the embodied experience of the climbing. As with much of my work, the aesthetic manipulation of the users subjective sense of embodiment is central, The play of vertigo, and the associated adrenalin, the lying in a vulnerable position on a dark space, the head hole, like a stocks or a guillotine, all intentionally move the user out of a complacent quasi-objective art viewing mode into a complicit bodily engagement. This is not unlike the interrogation/torture techniques currently condoned by the US military, thought I would like to think of it in terms of swords to ploughshares. In any case, the play of adrenaline and endorphins in the user is a crucial part of the work. You might call it 'endocrine art'.