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Body Paint [openFrameworks]



“Body Paint” by Mehmet Akten is an interactive installation and performance allowing users to paint on a virtual canvas with their body, interpreting gestures and dance into evolving compositions.

Custom software analyzes live feed from infra-red cameras in real-time, and converts shape and motion into colors, drips and brush-strokes. The software was written in C++ using the open-source toolkit openFrameworks and computer vision library openCV.

The installation is designed to work with any number of people and is scalable to cover small or large areas. The interaction is very simple – movement creates paint. Hidden in the simplicity, are many layers of subtle details. Different aspects of the motion – size, speed, acceleration, curvature, distance all have an effect on the outcome – strokes, splashes, drips, spirals – all modifiable settings in the panel Memo built (see photo), but are left up to the users to play and discover.


While the installation is suitable for a single user, when multiple users are present a new dynamic emerges between people. A user-to-user interaction is born when the audience start playing with each other through the installation, throwing virtual paint at each other, trying to splash their friends, working collaboratively to create shared artwork, or mischievously trying to vandalize others’ work.

I have unfortunately missed the installation at “Exhibit X presents Pebbledash” event in Stoke Newington (London) in June this year. I am nevertheless assured by Memo that there will be more events in the near future.

You can read more about “Body Paint” on Memo’s website

Mehmet Akten is a visual artist, musician and interaction designer with a focus on creating emotional and memorable experiences. Using programming as his primary artist’s tool, he develops technology to create new instruments, and explore alternative ways of performing visuals and sound. more about Memo

See also Reincarnation [openFrameworks]
and MSA Remote [iPhone]

“Body Paint” Installation at “Clicks or Mortar”, March 2009 from Memo Akten on Vimeo.