This is the current iteration of my ICM final, a video installation that started as a performance tool and turned into a installation/mirror/weird thing called Gjohst. It’s a very simple mechanism that still surprises people. As I’ve observed it on the monitor in the hallway for the past couple of days I’ve noticed that most people miss it. Look behind you.
I plan to expand this into the performance tool I originally imagined, with live control over how the recorded video is played back, so you can change timing, the number of repetitions and instances, and other effects.
After the class presentation, I had to switch monitors with Phil for his presentation for another class. The new monitor has a less clean background, which inspired me to finish the background cancelation code. This totally changed the project. I think I like the original version better, but with background cancel code, which takes a screen shot of the video and then uses that to find the different in the pixels, the recorded video is much more clear than my version, which just uses the video frame preceding each new frame to find the pixels. In my original version the recorded loop is the ghost. In the new version, the playback ghost appears more solid than the video, and the live person becomes the ghost, because the artifacts of background that aren’t cancelled appear over the live video person. Here’s some footage of the background cancelled version:
I got a lot of help from Dan on my code as well as Robbie Tilton. Yin helped me test it and I watched a lot of other people walk by who sort of unknowingly helped me test it. There wasn’t one particular inspiration for the idea, but here are some things I’ve found or been pointed to since that helped me develop the concept:
Code for first version with that uses the video stream to remove the background:
Code for new version with background cancelation with an initial snap shot from Robbie Tilton:
Coming soon! Its on a computer in the hallway that won’t turn on right now.