Videos: Motion Phone at Ars Electronica, 1996; Motion Phone at SIGGRAPH 1995; Motion Sketch at Brown University, 1989-1994
Scott Snibbe is a pioneer in augmented reality, gesture-based interfaces, digital video, and interactive art. He started this project called the Motion Phone in 1995 and evolved out from an exploration of how to make cinema out of one’s body.
Motion phone was created by Scott Snibbe himself. He explains that this program, Motion Phone, is a “networked version” of Motion Sketch. Rather than multiple humans controlling the program, several different computers are connected to run this program.
Scott Snibbe did use “Motion sketch” which he created himself, which attaches the movements of one’s hand to the movements of abstract forms.
Scott Snibbe had been inspired by two experimental animation pioneers. The first, Oskar Fischinger, pioneered a cinema of pure abstraction. His earliest films are simple black and white forms, drawn frame-by-frame in charcoal. Yet the resulting movements, such as in Study Number 7 (1931), have incredible emotional power. The second pioneer, Len Lye, pioneered “direct cinema,” created by marking directly on the film surface with pens, inks, or by scratching emulsion off of black leader.
This project is especially interesting because this is an earlier form of how humans can interact with computers. Since we are familiar with augmented reality today, it seems to be interesting how Scott was able to pioneer in that area.