For the past few months the team of Marginalia Project has been involved on the development of a series of communicating softwares [we call the whole system AETeletransporter] which makes the project AEurasia work.
AEurasia is a Belo Horizonte based interactive video-installation by Cláudio Santos, Alessandra Soares, André Amparo and Fernando Maculan being exhibited at Espaço 104 from December 12nd to 20th of 2008. Sketching a brief description:
"The video-installation AEurasia presents a trip around the world inside of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Specific locations where selected in the city based on the correspondence existing between their names and diverse chosen locations of the world. The diagram resulting of the connection of the points representing each elected spot is a map tracing the world inside a city. Four main concepts shall conduce the spectator's experience: difference, distance, time and mobility. A stimulus to acquire better knowledge of the city we inhabit."
Seven videos are presented to the spectators sketching objective and subjective relationships between corresponding places, one of which is a distant city while the other is a location in Belo Horizonte. An eighth projection summarizing the whole installation responds to actions of the spectator, capturing his image in real-time and placing him in the video he watches by cropping only his body from the surroundings [this procedure is mediated by a software we call AESoulCaptor which is basically responsible for doing a real time Chroma Key]. By doing so, the spectator is merged to a distant location as if he had visited it: while he can enjoy interacting in real-time with all the locations, a postcard is produced as a souvenir of his 'traveling' experience inside AEurasia, this imaginary continent.
The spectator can, then, retrieve his souvenir when leaving the installation using a terminal running the software we call AECheck-in which is responsible for presenting every image produced that day in order for the spectator to choose his favorite photo which can then be sent to himself or others by e-mail and uploaded to AEurasia's Flickr.
Among the many softwares developed by Marginalia for this project, two main applications are of greater importance: AESoulCaptor and AECheck-in, developed, respectively, on C++ using the open source library openframeworks and Processing 1.0.1.
This project represents the first attempt of Marginalia Project on working with the library openframeworks for C++ and AppleScript with outstanding results so far; Processing has been employed in order to develop a user-friendly interface, which is the first attempt of Marginalia Project on developing this sort of programming practices [interface-based softwares]. These new fields of work are of major importance from now on, since Marginalia will be developing the projects to come [soon to be announced] mainly on openframeworks and taking advantage of Apple features such as AppleScript, Quartz Composer and Automator.
AETeletransporter is a system working simultaneously on two connected terminals composed of the following softwares: AESoulCaptor [openframeworks], AECheck-in [Processing], AESender [AppleScript], AEConnect[AppleScript]. In addition to the development of the already mentioned system, Marginalia Project worked on the making of the videos and documentation of the installation.
More information on the new projects of Marginalia will be given on the following posts which are intended to briefly cover present and future projects of the group.
General view of the installation showing the chroma key region.
Screenshot of a terminal while running the software AECheckIn.