Connect: Interactive video and audio installation (2016-2017)

Connect is an interactive video and four-channel audio installation that uses 3D depth sensing technology and computer programming to probe our daily experiences of connecting to a digitally networked world. It contrasts the agency,  embodiment, and immediacy felt within the interactive installation, with the mediation that pervades much of our digital connections in everyday life, where the content we consume and create is framed and formatted by the medium of its transmission. Participants discover local and global video imagery and sound through the moving shapes of their own bodies. Their moving silhouettes, captured live by camera, are incorporated into a projected video display as the interface between two contrasting streams of visual imagery, from local and worldwide contexts. Sources of footage include feeds of world news broadcasts, stock activity, flight tracking data, twitter, world city webcams, headlines in many languages, currency conversions, weather maps, International Space Station webcams, archival film and local video footage. The projection background is filled by one source of imagery and the silhouettes of people by another, creating intersections between each individual and the larger public sphere. Participants actively create the visual and audio composition as their movements determine what imagery is revealed and what sound mix is heard. Directly shaping the content of the installation in this way encourages a heightened awareness of digital technology’s latent role in modulating our interactions with and understanding of the world around us.

This project was developed with the help of Jean-Claude Batista, an Ottawa senior software developer, and Ray Gould, an Ottawa sound designer, with the support of Ottawa’s Artengine collective and the financial assistance of the City of Ottawa.