[-empyre-] konnecting airlines

Simon Biggs simon at littlepig.org.uk
Sat Jul 7 08:52:18 EST 2012

The kinect is not only a camera but a projector. It projects an 'image' onto the scene before it. This image is not visible to human eyes but the kinect IR camera can see it and you can then render that data to another (computer) screen, if you choose to. Best. Simon

Sent from a mobile device, thus the brevity.

Simon Biggs
simon at littlepig.org.uk
s.biggs at ed.ac.uk

On 6 Jul 2012, at 23:27, Johannes Birringer <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote:

well isn't it good to find out that "screens" and screening are suspicious after all,
i had wondered about it for a while.

there is much to catch up to, I just had a brief comment on the post regarding
Kinect (Simon), but also keeping in my mind the fascinating discussion on Mr/Ms Winter's reading
of early cinema & x-rays, and what Martin, Timothy, Kriss, Brian, Rob and Ian have written here
(especially as the discussion may turn/move between the technical and the social, and into the social more).

Kriss comments on Winter:
S/he seems more interested in the X-ray because it offers a figure, while the cinematograph is considered non-figurative and therefore "inhuman."

How does X-ray offer a figure?  or following your argument on social relations: "But we still have to recognize a figure (or political position, concept of a social, or a self)"?
how does X-ray mediate something we define as social?

My anecdote is brief.  I am not as technically savvy on Kinect, but – as Simon says, he wanted to "develop some new interactive systems. It is a curious device, especially as to how it visualises the world."... --
Anyway, I am not sure i understand how the Kinect camera "turns everything into a screen" (Simon).  If we are thinking of cameras (back tracking for a moment), it's certainly my experience that i didn't think of
the footage I would shoot as screens. Early film was not instantly visible/readable anyway, it had to be developed. Later, with video tape (3/4", SHVS, VHS), my habit was to shoot and then go home
not watching what i had filmed until a day after or so  (Martin probably will point us to current cell phone or digital camera or Ipad tools that make you see what you shoot as you shoot - but this
instantaneousness does not interest me; screening my camera?).  

Camera for me is a vision instrument or composing tool, or a capture technology, and when a young programmer from my Lab brought the Kinect to rehearsals with the dancers, we tried to find out what it could do, interactively.  In our last production, "for the time being" [http://people.brunel.ac.uk/dap/forthetimebeing.html] we used the Kinect camera in one scene, the "Killing of the Sun" scene that was inspired by the Russian futurist opera (1913) "Victory over the Sun." 

Our programmer, Cameron McKirdy, was interested in how what types of movement on stage work successfully,  how the movement can become interactively meaningful for our scene,  as he was focusing on the arms controlling the visuals (the sun) we project onto our stage (behind the dancers). My design partner (Michèle Danjoux) had created a costume for the dancer in this scene which resembles a sarcophagus, and the arms were hidden in it ( restricting movement of course), so we noted that  the Kinect infra-red camera would read the "figure" but could not read it properly as the figure had no arms. It could not read the figure. 

This created much discussion as we were reminded of earlier complications with motion capture systems and how such systems are set up to "read" a certain anatomy or anatomical figure, and also how it could or could not deal with occlusions or changes in the anatomy (when we placed the reflective markers on the "wrong" body parts).  

In this case, are we not talking about capture systems and now such systems were developed for a certain kind of vision?  This may of course be related to the "sceens" or sceening, but whereas I am still 
preoccupied with the kind of recognizable action a human actor is generating in interface with a system  (and here is a political dimension which we might need to address not just in performance but in everyday life) to occupy or produce
meaning in a given context, it appears Simon was talking about something else, the "particle vision system"?  

(he says: >>It projects high powered infra-red light onto the scene in front of it and then scans the returning data as a variable resolution dot matrix, in the process creating a 3D point cloud model of the scene. When varying the resolution dynamically you can produce some quite amazing visual effects that in normal operation of the device are never visible>>

what visual affects are you talking about if I may ask?

It is only when you visualise the data cloud you see the visual field.  Anyway, when doing this the bodies of people, objects in the visual field, walls and surfaces, all can be seen to function as screens. 
The dynamically variable projected point cloud appears to crawl over everything and has the visual effect of many hundreds of thousands of small particles interacting with things, and each other, as they collect vital data

To what extent, if i follow your argument, do such systems generate a different kind of "visual" representation, and is this what was intimated by Martin's post?

Lastly, have you seen work done with thermal cameras?  (cf. Joseph Giacomi's book, "Thermal: Seeing the World Through 21st Century Eyes").  Well, strange world it is. 

with regards

Johannes Birringer
empyre forum
empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au

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