Feathers: the Digital Revolution show, Black Swan and fun video experiments

I’d forgotten what a crazy utopian 60s view of the future the brutalist Barbican represented, and it was a very fitting location for the recent Digital Revolution show. Home computers from the 80s and early computer games were arrayed as hallowed artifacts, to the general bemusement of both younger and older visitors. For me the more interesting parts were the interactive pieces, done on a large scale and engineered to work well for the fast moving crowds. In particular Chris Milk’s The Treachery of Sanctuary. Participants stood in front of a huge triptych of screens that showed their shadows decomposing into flocks of birds, and finally, flapping their hands, flying up off the screen.

It reminded me of some fun experiments I did a couple of years ago with a Microsoft Kinect, looking at how technically easy it was becoming to do exactly these kinds of video and gesture effects, although the graphic and animation polish is still a time-consuming activity. It was a tricky exercise to get it up and running again, but this time I captured the results as Feathers. (or jump straight to the video)

At the time I saw the gestural controllers on the cusp of mainstream adoption, with devices like the Leap Motion appearing, but I wonder know whether the dream of the Minority Report interface is really where things are headed…

Originally published at whizzyideas.wordpress.com on September 21, 2014.

Technology at Our Future Health; Non-exec director at NHS Digital

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