H2Geneous

October 5, 2010
A colleague of mine, Anthony F. Saad, invited me to participate in the creation of an interactive visual art installation for Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts as part of their Face It Head On exhibition and official 2010 Toronto Nuit Blanche participation in conjunction with Workman Arts.

It was an exciting night with huge crowds visiting the gallery to view all the artwork and take part in H2Geneous.

H2Geneous explores the heterogeneous and homogeneous aspects of a community’s identity and vibrant make–up by creating unique expressions from its component parts. The surprising, whimsical, beautiful, and unique faces created by H2Geneous will haunt, entertain and inspire you to give thought to the face of your community.

Stepping up to H2Geneous participants added their image to the community of faces. Each image was fragmented into key areas and added to the rich diversity of faces representing the community. H2Geneous recombined the fragments providing a reflection our collective image in an ever–evolving series of composite images that changed over time.

Participants saw fragments of their own face combined with those of fellow gallery goers. An eye was be paired with a stranger’s grin, a friend’s ear, and someone else’s nose; all collaged together to create a unique ever changing portrait.

Throughout the evening H2Geneous composited images were projected into the gallery window, looking out onto Queen Street West. The installation continuously grew with face fragments emerging and looping at random.

You can read more about H2Geneous here. The video was taken the night of Nuit Blanche and explains the exhibition and the installation in more detail.

From the start I envisioned the piece as a perfect fit for Adobe Director. The installation consisted of two applications:
  • The "Grabber" which recorded a still image of participants. The images were collected and saved using an HD webcam and 2 plugins - Myron webcamxtra and DirectImage.

  • The "Projector" which ran in a continuous loop constructing and deconstructing faces composited from parts of the collected images. Various random strategies were used to keep the composites from being too repetitive.

This was the perfect opportunity to allow me to get back into Director and Lingo development and programming. Hopefully I will have some more opportunities to use this digital media tool which has served me well over the years.

Here is a screen-grabbed demo video from the "Projector" application. Music was added for this demo version, it's Droplets from Ethereal Landscapes by Dom the Bear.

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