Glimpse is a site-specific work commissioned for a collector’s foyer. This interactive multi-monitor piece transforms the entryway into a playful and dynamic experience for all who pass through or linger there. The piece generates a large-scale painterly animation, which evolves based on people’s movements and activities. People in the space can ‘play’ together or individually, using body motion to create a composition. Or, they can simply explore the work’s multiple reactions to their presence.

As each day passes, traces of people’s paths through the space remain as layers in the background of this constantly evolving ‘painting’. The work creates an immediate experience as well as a layered visual history of this central household thoroughfare. Utilizing two overhead cameras to track movement in a large area of the foyer, the visual output is displayed on three flat panel screens on a nearby wall.

The multiple directions of movement through the space allows for exciting compositional possibilities for the interactive animation. For example, people moving close to the screen add visual material to the composition, while people further away erase it. An interesting interplay and tension between people nearer and farther from the screens develops. Similarly, different trajectories into and out of the multiple doors have distinct effects; walking from the living room into the foyer creates one type of marks, while walking down the stairs into the foyer generates others. Different trajectories also create marks drawn in different colors – walking from the living room draws marks in colors related to that room, while walking from other rooms generates marks in other colors specific to those rooms. The evolving marks and colors on the screen provide visual cues of the recent history of how people have walked through the foyer.

The installation is site specific in its reaction to people in the space, but also in setting up a dialog with the surrounding architecture. The classical architectural forms from the residence are integrated into the aesthetic vocabulary of the piece. For example, hand drawings of the medallions, flourishes, and molding in the house form the basis of marks that are repeated and altered by the software as it reacts to people.

The piece was acquired by the Orange County Museum of Art. More information about the collection, can be found on the OCMA website.

Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA 2014