The Trompe-l'œil (French for “deceive the eye”) has an long history in the visual arts, and it is not at all surprising that contemporary tools and workflows could make novel contributions to an age-old technique for image wizardry. A collaboration between Montreal-based Matthew Biederman and Berlin’s Pierce Warnecke for the .move ON festival at Werkleitz (Halle, Germany), Perspection is a multi-screened audiovisual installation that combines anamorphic imagery and spatialized audio to induce perspective-warping optical (and aural) illusions for its viewers.
Anamorphic images are distorted in order to appear three-dimensional or ‘correct’ from certain vantage points, so the TouchDesigner-generated animations playing on Perspection’s three projection surfaces are tuned to the dimensions of the space and compose seamless images across the displays at specific viewing angles. Bands of oscillating and out of phase vertical stripes, dense arrays of Necker Cubes, pulsating colour fields—each vignette’s machinations are accompanied by synchronized shrill tones and piercing waves of static. Beyond using MaxMSP to generate its audio, the installation also uses a Max patch-driven Kinect to 3D track a viewer’s position, to adjust the perspective of the animations and audio (via directional speakers) making the piece responsive and tied to location.