Initially this project set out to map artist’s work digitally as they produced it, from small scale canvases to murals, collecting a range of data (including time on the z-axis) which could then be analyzed digitally and viewed across a production timeline. In these experiments I was able to digitally remap my movements using IR light, and quickly found a range of marketable applications, such as an interactive store front canvas, that could harness the technology.
// Preserve work on canvases that would otherwise be vulnerable to damage or removal.
// Learn from the Masters. In depth look at various stages of process.
// Live streaming on festival websites such as artbasel.com
// The work could be recreated simultaneously or in the future on any surface or scale.
PRODUCTION TIME: 3 Weeks
Apply motion capture and tracking technology to unveil the quite shielded, if not clandestine, process of creating street art and even offer new ways to make murals and graffiti reproducible on a large scale for events and exhibitions.
This functional prototype of a digital graffiti wall made use of an HD projector, a Kinect, a homemade infrared stylus, and an openFrameworks algorithm for recording and analyzing my "digital brush strokes". Digitizing this ancient form of expression introduced a new derivative art form when we consider that a plane of graffiti contains a z-axis. By tracking the additive brush strokes using the Kinect and openFrameworks, this project also offered insight into previously immeasurable details of a street artist's painting techniques and approach to a composition.
The digital graffiti wall is intended to be both an entertaining spectacle at a festival like Art Basel (imagine watching your favorite street artist painting in their acclaimed style with light), but also a tool for studying the mechanics behind their technique. Swapping paint with light also lends an ephemeral quality to the art work in the physical space that contrasts interestingly with the idea that painting with light allows the work to be recorded and reproduced, almost shielding it from the vulnerabilities of physical graffiti artifacts (that are too often painted over by the powers that be).
Were I to revisit this project, I would fabricate the spray device outlined in the project sketches. The spray device would offer finer motor control and serve as a nuanced tangible interface for controlling the infrared light source, or "digital paint brush".
Commercial applications for this interactive canvas are endless. The technology allows anybody with a Smartphone 'torch' to leave their mark or message. In an extension of the project, a more refined interface is available with the download of an APP that opens up the User to a wider artillery of customisable features including spray cap size, color, eraser, save, attach to message and download.
IR light / Torch >> Canvas/Screen >> Kinect/Light Detection >> openFrameworks >> Projector >> Canvas/Screen