Art installation blurs boundary between physical and digital (video)

Summary:Nervous Structure is a series of installations that create hypnotic displays using elastic or spandex and a projector to illuminate it with computer-generated graphics.

You may have never pondered the philosophical difference between augmented reality and augmented virtuality, but it's old hat for artists like Annica Cuppetelli and Cristobal Mendoza.

Their latest project (Field) in a series known as Nervous Structure is an interactive installation consisting of a physical structure and a video projection coded and simulated using OpenFrameworks and Chipmunk Physics.

The work calls into question the idea of interface between two entities, as there are several for consideration, note the artists. Those include between the viewer and the piece (a human/computer interface); between the real and the virtual (the physical structure and its relationship with the projected structure); and between the foreground and the background (as the projection interferes with its shadow).

Viewers can interact with the piece by moving in the field of vision of a camera, which is connected to the computer. The motion is sensed by the software, which in turn influences the projected lines. The result is an ambiguity designed to be solved, Mendoza recently told Fast Company:

At first, Mendoza said, the physical arrangement of the installation is unclear. (Is it a series of lights? Is there a projector?) Then, it is the nature of the movement that matters. (Is the structure moving, or is it the light?) Finally, it is the nature of the interaction. (My movements are reflected in the projection.) "Some ambiguities are so only because we have not studied them enough," he said. Their hope is that viewers will be intrigued enough to investigate further.

If you're intrigued to investigate further, you can view the the following videos:

Nervous Structure (field) (2012) from Cristobal Mendoza on Vimeo.

Nervous Structure Series (2010 - Present) from Cristobal Mendoza on Vimeo.

(Via Fast Company Co.Design and Triangulation Blog)

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Topics: Hardware, CXO


Christopher Jablonski is a freelance technology writer. Previously, he held research analyst positions in the IT industry and was the manager of marketing editorial at CBS Interactive. He's been contributing to ZDNet since 2003. Christopher received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at U... Full Bio

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