Overscan by SoSoLimited is a permanently installed TV remixing artwork at a bar in Cambridge, MA (USA). Live television is fed into a PC running custom software, which analyzes, re-processes, and mutates the video signal and text data coming from the broadcast, and then puts the result up across five televisions behind the bar.
Custom software created in openFrameworks looks for patterns in the video, such as faces, and maintains a memory of what it has seen. The text of the closed caption feed is extracted and analyzed with language processing software. Certain words, such as emotional language and selected topics, are highlighted and recorded. Repetitive phrases are cataloged and displayed, verb tenses analyzed and compared, and faces are tracked and counted. The bar staff can choose which channel is fed into the system, but other than that, it runs on its own, moving through a dozen different ‘modes’ or ‘abstractions’ throughout the day.
Setup: Regular HP desktop computer, nVidia graphics card, 2 x Matrox DualHeadToGo external DVI doublers, 5 x 40 ” Samsung LCD’s, C++, openFrameworks & a custom-hacked version of Theo Watson’s videoInput library to process Closed Caption data.
The piece was commissioned by Gary Strack, the chef and owner of Firebrand Saints.
- Sosolimited – reConstitution [Profile, Events, c++] Sosolimited is an art and design consultancy formed in 2003. The group specialises in interactive installation and audiovisual performance. They create immersive works that play on the immediacy of live media. I had a pleasure of hearing Sosolimited speak at the recent OFFF conference and with some scepticism of their more recent commercial work was very fond of the work they've been doing in the area of live media. Their presentation was focused on the evolution of their live media project - reConstitution, describing different iterations of the software created to allow real-time interpretation of live television. More of an outsider view than creating an impact, Sosolimited acts as a mediator with their software capable of extracting and reformatting information from live TV. Of course, this at times creates new narratives that do not necessarily represent the discussion at hand nevertheless they allow for a new way of understanding, selecting and reinterpreting voice, sound and image. The new meaning is left over to the spectator to contextualise, compare, make sense of or reject all together. The kicked off back in 2004, named reConstitution, it was a three-part live audiovisual remix of the US 2004 presidential debates. A hybrid of video art and public service, the piece represented a shift away from the polarized manner in which people approach political artwork. Sosolimited designed a piece of software that allowed them to sample the television broadcast in real time, extracting the video, audio, and closed captioned text. The software consisted of a series of modes, each of which transformed, analyzed, and reassembled these pieces in a distinct way. The transformed visuals were projected into a large screen and the audio was played through a PA system. Some aspects of the broadcast were obscured while others were highlighted and analyzed, all intended to augment the raw information contained in the television signal. A clean version of the candidate's voices was always present in the audio mix, so as to maintain the legibility of the debates. Every word spoken by the candidates was catalogued, analyzed, and displayed, integrated with the transformed video signal. The visuals would react to the physical movement of the candidates as well as the words they spoke. In 2008, once again for the new wave of presidenial debates, Sosolimited organised three performances in three cities (ReConstitution2008), each coinciding with the live broadcast of the debates. The software was redesigned to further enhance the translation. Through a series of visual and sonic transformations the team reconstituted the material, revealed linguistic patterns, exposed content and structures creative alternative understanding of the debates while they were being watched. Over 1500 people attended our three performances in Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. See more images/videos here. In 2010, their longest performance to date (the long conversation); nine hours, was held during the Transmediale Festival in Berlin at the Haus der Kulteren der Welt. The performance occurred in parallel with the "Futurity Long Conversation", which was a nine hour lecture and debate series involving 21 speakers in an auditorium. There were two speakers on stage at a time, with one of them being swapped out for another every 20 minutes. On a separate stage at the opposite end of the HKW the team had typists transcribing the words of all the artists, designers, and authors who were speaking, and sent the text streams to the analysis software. The visualizations of the conversations were projected on the screen behind the typists. The words of all the participants were matched to lexical databases, and sorted by topic, tense, and certitude. Soso displayed realtime statistics of all the speakers and used a dozen or so different transformational modes throughout the night. Most recent iteration of Sosolimited's software was for 2010's UK Parliamentary elections which included American style live debate between the party leaders. Having enjoyed the US Debate remix, ReConstitution, the organizers of the FutureEverything festival in Manchester invited Sosolimited to do something similar for a live audience in the UK. With fully integrated LIWC text analysis libraries to track things like emotion and self-reference in our software, the show was streamed live on TV, a first for the team, on April 29th - Prime Numerics. Whether the project creates an insight into what the world leaders "mean" is somewhat debatable. Extracting words out of their context and interpreting facial expressions may only begin suggest new narratives disconnected from their origin. The fact of the matter is that most of these political debates are no more than theatre, created for public and press media to feed on. The truth is that we, without the additional software, create meaning depending on our social standing, education and what might be most relevant to us. Sosolimited's segmentation nevertheless does provide an insight into how machines interoperate live television but whether we can relate to these machines is altogether another matter. What is true, shown here, is that popular media is a spectacle that should be celebrated whether this be in the form of entertainment, critique or even a new form of self discovery. Made with ACU, a C++ MIT library / […]
- ‘Looking at a Horse’ by Evan Boehm Looking at a Horse is about the context and experience of viewing art, it changes its appearance depending on where it is located and who is viewing […]
- CSIS Data Chandelier by SOSO Limited 425 hanging pendants located in the new HQ of the Center for Strategic and International Studies visualise global […]
- Sala de Máquinas [Inspiration, Sound] Created by Daphne Polyzos, Jordi Planas, Miguel Neto and Rodrigo Carvalho, “Sala de Máquinas” (Engine Room) is an audiovisual interactive installation, which intends to reflect on the idea of the reutilization of what we have acknowledged as obsolete...in this case old modified TVs that react to sound. An electronic oscillator is connected to an open circuit, in a way that when the user touches 2 metal bars he/she himself/herself becomes the electrical resistance therefore being able to vary the frequency of sound. Shown at FESTIVAL VISUAL BRASIL // BARCELONA 2010 Rodrigo is a portuguese graphic designer living in Barcelona. Graduated in 2005 ( in Aveiro, Portugal) and till 2008 he worked in a design and audiovisual studio in Madrid. In 2008 he moved to Barcelona to make a master degree in Digital Arts. where he got in touch with a new world of physical interfaces, algorithmic videos, interaction, random graphics, reactive installations,…Nowadays he is very interested in the crossing between arts and […]
- Action Painting [openFrameworks] Action Painting, also refereed to as Masculine Expressionism is the latest project by Jeremy Rotsztain that using data from action movies as material generates a series of "action paintings" in the style of Jackson Pollock. In Action Painting, gestures are extracted from action film sequences (car chase movies, fight scenes, explosions, etc.) and used as material to compose digital paintings. Pun intended. For example when Jason Bourne drives backwards through the streets of Paris in a nail-biting police chase, when the underdog Rocky Balboa battles Apollo Creed, when a helicopter chases a high speed train through a tunnel in Mission Impossible, the app takes these sequences and playfully converts them into abstract expressionist images. Action Painting was created using openFrameworks. For each frame of video, the software samples the changed pixels, saving them to the computer's memory. It then rearranges all the sampled pixels on screen to compose a series of abstract expressionist images, which are presented as large format prints and video installations. For more information see mantissa.ca/projects/actionpainting + this flickr album. (via […]
- Patterned by Nature – Transparent pixels in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Some time ago Sosolimited and Plebian Design set out to create a large scale transparent LCD sculpture for a science museum atrium. Each pixel was designed as a piece of glass that could independently change the transparency of: from opaque black to transparent. The sculpture was designed to curve up through the atrium of the museum and display down-sampled patterns from nature, along with a high fidelity soundtrack. Almost two years later, its wonderful to see this project finally come to life. "Patterned by Nature" was commissioned by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for the newly built Nature Research Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. The exhibit celebrates our abstraction of nature’s infinite complexity into patterns through the scientific process, and through our perceptions. It brings to light the similarity of patterns in our universe, across all scales of space and time. The 90’x10’ “ribbon” winds through the five story atrium of the museum and is made of 3600 tiles of LCD glass. It runs on roughly 75 watts, less power than a laptop computer. Animations are created by independently varying the transparency of each piece of glass. The content cycles through twenty programs, ranging from clouds to rain drops to colonies of bacteria to flocking birds to geese to cuttlefish skin to pulsating black holes. The animations were created through a combination of algorithmic software modeling of natural phenomena and compositing of actual footage. An eight channel soundtrack accompanies the animations on the ribbon, giving visitors clues to the identity of the pixelated movements. In addition, two screens show high resolution imagery and text revealing the content on the ribbon at any moment. Patterned by Nature was created by Plebian Design, Hypersonic Design & Engineering, and […]
- Föhnseher [Linux] Föhnseher by Julian Oliver (2011) rises from the scrap heap of analog TV. Unlike other televisions, Föhnseher captures and displays images downloaded by people on surrounding local wireless networks. Other people's phones, laptops and tablet computers all become broadcast stations for this device. The current implementation watches just on one (open) network. Julian explains that it is also possible to sweep all channels, looking for traffic on other networks. The signal is translated from VGA->SVideo->[modulator box]->TV(RF). The project is also a part of an Upcomming Exhibition/Performance - Series, called BodyControlled, at LEAP exhibition space in Berlin. More info. Project Page See also wifio.net and Newstweek (2011) Julian is a New Zealander, Critical Engineer and artist based in Berlin. His projects ahave been presented at many museums, international electronic-art events and conferences, including the Tate Modern, Transmediale, Ars Electronica and the Japan Media Arts Festival. His work has received several awards, ranging from technical excellence to artistic invention and interaction design. He has also given numerous workshops and master classes in software art, augmented reality, creative hacking, data forensics, computer networking, object-oriented programming for artists, virtual architecture, artistic game-development, information visualisation, UNIX/Linux and open source development practices worldwide. In 2011, Julian won the Golden Nica (1st prize) Interactive Arts category, Prix Ars Electronica, […]
- Trace Modeler [openFrameworks] Created by Karl D.D. Willis, Trace Modeler is an application that uses real-time video to create three-dimensional geometry. The silhouette of a foreground object in a video frame is subtracted from the background and used as a two-dimensional slice. At user-defined intervals new slices are captured and displaced along the depth axis. The result is a three-dimensional model defined by silhouette slices over time. Trace Modeler was built using the openFrameworks and the OpenCV library to recognize contours from the video image. Source code is available for download here. Project Page (re-descovered via Cedric Kiefer) See also Beautiful Modeler [iPad, […]
Posted on: 02/12/2011
Posted in: openFrameworks
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