Motivation and Proposal
In his Commentary on Aristotles Categories, Archytus writes, “Place is the first of all beings”, since everything that exists is in a place and cannot exist without a place. The aim of this project is to allow people to share spaces. We start by making a unique recording device that prompts people, via written text, to “Take Me Somewhere on the CMU campus” and auto-uploads the collected videos to Dropbox. This prompt is intended to inspire users to interact with the object. Their interaction and manipulation of the object will be recorded by the device and it will permanently affect what it records. Putting the object on campus, we successfully collected video data from several locations.
Then we constructed a space to curate all the data we receive, via dropbox, from the recording device within Hunt library’s media lab. The space is to act as a portal, or a window into what the object has experienced, which allows users access to the entire database that the recording device has created. The presentation of the videos are inspired by the idea of “Camera Obscura”, which is the natural optical phenomenon that occurs when an image of a scene at the other side of a screen is projected through a small hole in that screen as a reversed and inverted image on a surface opposite to the opening. A “Camera Obscura” device is also the prototype of the modern camera. In a dark space, we projected down those videos that were masked with dotted effects onto a round screen. By adding the common elements in “Camera Obscura” — dots, projection and dark room, we aimed at giving people the sense of a true “Camera Obscura” that has the magic of connecting them to different places from a small space.
1. Mobile video collection device. (raspberry pi + pi camera)