In order to do this I was trying to create an illusion where a participant in the installation, through the act of looking anywhere in the space in front of him/ her, would make a drop of water appear and suspend exactly in that location (as long as he/ she kept the gaze). Technically it would be possible through a series of linear actuators spread throughout space that precisely release x drops of water per second where the viewer is looking (location in space determined through eye-ball tracking). Furthermore the placement of drop in space needs to be tracked so whenever it passed at the same y location where the spectator is looking, the strobe would flash and freeze that frame after frame creating the illusion of suspension (stroboscope technique) and therefore making it seem as if the act of perceiving literally manifests into a material reality, challenging our conception of how physics of our everyday reality works. I am still perusing this idea, but due to complexity of installation and also amounts of nodes (actuators) need to release drops in space, it became obvious that it needs to evolve gradually.
now the actual installation is the first step exploration into that direction...
Given 4 channels of control through the dimmer pack i decided to control the frequency and brightness of a series of lights fixed in space. The challenge was to develop a program that would take into consideration Einstein's theory of special relativity and through tracking of movement in space animate these four light according to speed and position of the viewer in space and their relative positions to each node. In a very straightforward way i programmed these relations based on relativity so that the closest node reacted the fastest with the most brightness, and consequently the further away the more delay in time and dimmer the light.
In the video below there are 4 variations of the program. Total of 3 angles that i shot the installation. For every shot i go through 4 variations, each separated by a white flash in the video. Here are the four variations in order:
the closest you are to a node the brighter it is, others are adjusted according to your distance between them and will fade faster or slower based on velocity.
- flash fade:
same thing as above except the lights blink all the same time based on how fast you are moving. The faster one moves the more their time slows down, so the blink simulates that.
- relative flash + reverse ramp fade:
closest node blinks more instantaneously and further the node the more delay in response and longer the second. I reversed the fade based on how in the experience walking towards the 'now' moment made more sense, rather than the now projected above, where it couldn't be seen.
- oscillating relative flash + reverse ramp fade & feedback:
same as the above but added some noise by reducing threshold in tracking and also created a feedback loop where the presence of the light itself was taken into account, meaning the light emitted from each node would increase and decrease the delay others (feeding back to itself in a loop).
Please look at the videos of the main patch and tracking to see it working in real-time.